Honda website
Honda website

JULY 24, 2003

Back to Belgium?

Bernie Ecclestone has met with Belgian politician Serge Kubla regarding the possible return of a race to Spa-Francorchamps. Kubla, the Economy Minister for the southern French speaking region of Wallonia, met Ecclestone in London for talks about the race which was cancelled this year due to anti-tobacco legislation.

"Mr. Ecclestone told me that he would do everything he can to bring back the grand prix to Spa-Francorchamps and even for next year," he told RTBF radio.

"For that, he saw two possibilities: Substitute a date of another GP or reach an agreement with the teams to find a new date," he added.

"Mr. Ecclestone assured me that he was 100 percent behind a return of the grand prix to Spa and, in my eyes, the worst thing that could happen now would be that the GP comes back in 2005 and not 2004".

The Belga news agency has also reported that the country's Senate Commission for Social Affairs voted 9-4 on Wednesday with four abstaining votes to approve a "Francorchamps bill." The bill could delay the ban on tobacco advertising from next month until July 31, 2005 when the European Union ban comes into effect.

BMW-Williams team principal Sir Frank Williams was reported last month as saying that he suspected Ecclestone had already placed Belgium on the provisional 2004 race calendar.

Austria has been dropped from the calendar and new circuits are being finished in Bahrain and China. This could mean that the return of Spa will push another European venue from the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship Calendar.