OCTOBER 4, 1999
A ray of hope for the Belgian Grand Prix
The court of arbitration has decided that the federal anti-tobacco law should be modified to allow for the Belgian GP to be held with the cars running with tobacco sponsorship and advertising hoardings beside the track to carry tobacco messages. The exemption will remain in effect only until July 31, 2003.
While the decision has given the Belgians some hope, they will now have to renegotiate their contract with F1 boss BernieÊEcclestone and that is likely to mean that the race will cost them more money. If they fail to raise that extra money, there is no shortage of race tracks bidding to replace Spa with the favorites to get the event being Zandvoort, in Holland, and Estoril, in Portugal.
The speed of the Belgian decision is no surprise as the FIA World Motor Sport Council is due to meet shortly after which an official calendar will be issued.