DECEMBER 11, 2002
The Belgian Grand Prix is definitely not going to get onto the 2003 Formula 1 calendar. The Belgian Chamber of Deputies has rejected an amendment to the new tobacco advertising law by a narrow margin. This means that the law will go ahead as planned with a tobacco ban being introduced on August 1 next year and that means that Formula 1 teams will not race there.
The news is bound to cause considerable drama in the Spa region where the Grand Prix is a major source of income each year. There are even questions as to whether the Spa circuit will be able to survive without the event. There is some hope that a CART race will take place but this is unlikely to attract the same kind of support as Formula 1.
The loss of Spa for F1 is probably for the long-term as there is no shortage of other tracks wanting to host Grands Prix and although Spa is popular with F1 fans it has made life too difficult for the F1 circus for too long.
The Belgians have only themselves to blame.
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