The future of the Belgian Grand Prix

There appears to be some confusion over the future of the Belgian Grand Prix with a Belgian politician saying the race is off and other sources saying that the race is still on. The reality is that the race is officially still on but it is not likely to remain on the F1 calendar for much longer. According to our sources the race is off because Bernie Ecclestone is unwilling to promote the event until the track has been upgraded and that cannot now be done in the time available. If the Belgians can find a way to do all the necessary work in the limited time on offer then the race might go ahead but with each passing week that likelihood reduces. Ecclestone is happy to promote the race because the regional government is offering $5m in direct financial aid and another $2.5m in sponsorship and that means that any promoter should be able to balance the books, however Ecclestone wants the track upgraded and the Belgians have been arguing about how much they can afford to spend with a cap of $16m having been put on the work. The Minister-President of Wallonia is Elio di Rupo, who took office in October after the previous occupant resigned amid a corruption scandal. He has told the Belgian media that he cannot confirm a final decision but that he has been told by experts that it will be "difficult if not impossible" to get the work done in time for September. This may be Bernie Ecclestone playing power politics and trying to force the Belgians to act but it is fair to say that large scale construction projects cannot just happen without proper planning and sensible timescales.

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