Spa admits alternate year race talks underway

Organisers of the Belgian Grand Prix have admitted it is possible Spa-Francorchamps will in future only host a single F1 race every two years.

It has been rumoured that the famous and much-loved Belgian venue might have to alternatively share a single annual calendar slot as the French grand prix vies to return.

Belgian promoter Etienne Davignon told the Belga news agency that a solution along those lines is indeed “under discussion” between Spa, Bernie Ecclestone and French officials.

“The competition among countries who are willing to hold grands prix on their territory is becoming stronger,” he said.

“The alternating solution would be to perpetuate the Belgian grand prix on the championship calendar.”

He suggested that Spa could use its ‘off’ year to organise activities that help to economically sustain the F1 race.

“The organisation of the grand prix requires the Spa-Francorchamps circuit to close for three weeks. This period could be utilised for other activities,” said Davignon.

He also said privatising the circuit is “not an option”, after Renault team owner Gerard Lopez reportedly said on Tuesday that it could be a way to make the track a source of profit.

Meanwhile, another Spa official indicated that Belgian driver Jerome d’Ambrosio’s presence in F1 has led to slightly higher ticket sales ahead of the 2011 edition next month.

“The (d’Ambrosio) effect has been noticeable for some months,” Andre Maes is quoted by the Flemish newspaper De Morgen, “and it will be even more in 2012, when Jerome is better known.”