So Spa-Francorchamps fell victim to the Belgian government’s decision to ban tobacco advertising. (At the moment of writing, it’s still not sure if it will change its mind — which would allow a tobacco-sponsored grand prix at Spa in 2004.)
But there is more to the ‘Spa problem’ than this. I refer to Ron Dennis’s comment that Spa is low-ranked in terms of revenue-raising, and that other countries offer ‘better packages’ as far as dollars and shares are concerned.
I don’t have anything against Mr Dennis personally, but I do wish that he would just remain the team owner he always was, instead of becoming yet another czar who rules Formula One solely for the sake of money.
What about all the people who worked for years to build the new Spa? Thanks to them the track complied with the safety regulations yet kept all its characteristics of the past A brilliant job.
The FIA, meanwhile, has handed us another practice scheme for Fridays and Saturdays. But they haven’t tackled the real problem: you can’t tell the difference anymore between organisers and participants. Why does the president of the FIA hand out votes to people who should be being ruled by the governing body?
Max Mosley should tell the teams which rules have to be obeyed: the reduction of downforce, a return to fat slicks, no more electronic driver aids, more freedom in the cars’ design. Also he should make it clear to the richer teams that `concorde agreements’ or any other veto rights are simply not acceptable. In fact, no more votes. Just make the message a very simple one — ‘comply to the rules and participate, or withdraw’ — and stick to it.
And finally, he should point out that real tracks are needed in motor racing, not the bland arenas that so many are nowadays.
I am, yours Etc, Gert Van Gelder, Belgium