Honda F1 website

OCTOBER 21, 2005

Belgian Grand Prix in trouble?

There are reports in Belgium that the race promoter DDGP (Didier Defourney Grand Prix) has run into major financial problems because of a dispute with the local authorities over how much they should be paid. The promoter must pay a percentage of the ticket money to the municipalities of Stavelot and Malmedy. There are also the race fees that must be paid to the Formula One group and the result, it seems, is that the promoter does not have sufficient cash to break even. If DDGP drops out the Belgians will have to find a new promoter and that is not going to be an easy task because of the financial arrangements which exist, which make it hard to make money. Defourney has tried a variety of schemes to bring in more people, including offering free tickets for Thursday, hoping that fans will then buy tickets for the whole weekend. The future may lie in a model similar to that tried in France where ticket prices have been reduced but more money is coming in as more people are attending the races.