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Spa agrees new three-year deal

NEWS STORY
25/08/2012

Organizers of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps have confirmed that a new deal has been agreed which will keep F1 at the Ardennes track until 2015.

Amidst mounting financial doom in Europe there had been talk of Belgium alternating its round on the F1 calendar with France. Indeed, earlier this week it was revealed that F1 is to return to Magny-Cours, host of 19 French Grands Prix between 1991 and 2008, albeit in the form of a three-day young driver test.

However, at a press conference on Friday, officials at Spa revealed the new deal though they were unwilling to give details of the financial side of the agreement.

In recent years the sport has turned more and more towards the east, and though it is proving hard to win new fans there it is clear that money is more readily available. That said, the United States returns to the F1 calendar this year with Austin welcoming the sport to what appears to be a highly innovative track, even though the future of the proposed New Jersey race remains in doubt.

A favourite with fans and drivers, many of whom regard Spa as the last of the true race tracks, its loss to the sport is unthinkable, especially in an age of so many sterile, manufactured Mickey Mouse tracks. However, as we have seen in the past, including here in 2003 and 2006, Formula One doesn't allow sentiment to get in the way of the bank balance.

Good news for Spa however is likely to mean bad news for Magny-Cours. While Bernie Ecclestone will no doubt have agreed amicable terms with organizers of the Belgian event it is unlikely that he will be willing to repeat his generosity elsewhere.

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