Spa extends deal until 2015
Popular Belgian event signs three-year deal to stay on calendar
Last Updated: 24/08/12 11:43am
Spa: F1 cars will continue to tackle Eau Rouge until at least 2015
The Belgian Grand Prix will stay on the calendar for at least another three seasons after race organisers agreed a new deal with Formula 1 chiefs until 2015.
The future of the hugely popular and historic race at Spa-Francorchamps had been in doubt owing to the costs of staging the annual event, prompting speculation that the race would have to alternate with a neighbouring country or drop off the calendar altogether.
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With what had appeared advanced plans to alternate with a revived French GP at Paul Ricard from 2013 having fallen flat following a change of government in France, Spa chiefs have since entered the negotiating table on their own and on Thursday it emerged that a new deal had been agreed.
According to French sports newspaper L'Equipe, the President of the Spa Grand Prix Etienne Davignon announced that the Walloon Region of Belgium had signed the new three new-year deal for the race to continue at Spa with AFP reporting that the fresh agreement was on reduced financial terms.
The newspaper quotes the Walloon Minister of Economy, Jean-Claude July Marcourt, as saying that the idea of alternating with France "was considered at the request of our French friends. Unfortunately or fortunately, the French did not give practical effect to the proposals, and so today we got our freedom and we decided to sign up for an additional period of three years."