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Spa and Hungaroring extend contracts

NEWS STORY
06/06/2020

On Tuesday, Monza mayor, Dario Allevi revealed that the Italian Grand Prix will remain at the legendary Autodromo Nazionale until 2025, following agreement with Formula One Management.

On Friday, Spa Grand Prix CEO, Vanessa Maes announced that the Belgian round of the world championship will continue at the equally legendary Spa-Francorchamps track until 2022, following an agreement with FOM in relation to the fact that this year's race will be held without spectators.

Spa, like most European events, has to almost exclusively rely on ticket sales for its income, though the Silverstone race is the only event (European) that doesn't receive any national or local funding.

"The maintenance of this event was made possible thanks to the work and collaboration of the Walloon Government, the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit, the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium, the FIA but also FOM," she said of this year's race, "since this Grand Prix will be organised outside of the current contract and without financial contribution from the Walloon Region.

"This new model will allow the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit, an important economic tool in Wallonia, to somewhat mitigate the financial effects of this historic crisis," she added. "The negotiated conditions also make it possible to consolidate the place of the Belgian Grand Prix in the calendar of the Formula 1 world championship since it includes an extension of our current contract until 2022."

"The Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps is a flagship for Wallonia that contributes to the awareness of our country and our region worldwide," said Wallonia’s Economy Minister, Willy Borsus. "Organising it without an audience is obviously a disappointment for the spectators and a real shortfall for the region in terms of economic benefits.

"However, the terms negotiated with the FOM allow the region to limit losses and ensure the 2021 and 2022 Grand Prix. I am satisfied that we can organise it, even behind closed doors, to offer this show to the many enthusiasts, despite a difficult global context."

Shortly after, it was confirmed that a similar deal has been agreed between FOM and the Hungaroring, which will continue to host a round of the world championship until 2027.

"We have been liaising with Liberty Media in how to compensate the missing profit," said Zsolt Gyulay, CEO of Hungaroring Sport, "because the organisational cost is not lower in the case of a closed event.

"We did our best during the discussions to get a good agreement both for the country and the sport even in these challenging times," he added. "Furthermore, we have achieved an extension in our contract, so now it is valid until 2027 instead of 2026.

"The yearly increase of the rights fee also has been reduced, so we have spared several billions of HUF for the state."

"With regard to the pandemic situation several international events had to be cancelled," said Minister for Innovation and Tourism, Laszlo Palkovics, "but we did not want to take a risk with the F1 race in Hungary, so we were open for all options while liaising.

"The option for organising two races also arose during the conversations, but fortunately the pandemic situation improved in the other countries as well, and the rights holder wanted to go to as many places as possible."

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