1973 Belgian Grand Prix
- Sunday, May 20, 1973
- Grand Prix de Belgique et d'Europe
- F1 World Championship
Zolder, Limbourg, May 20th.
If the title of this article appears to be gibberish it is intentional, for it sums up the whole scene of the 1973 Belgian Grand Prix. It is in fact Flemish for “The Belgian Grand Prix for the Drivers World Championship”, for internal Belgian politics caused this year’s race to be held at Zolder, in the northern, or Flemish part of Belgium, and through general mismanagement on the part of all concerned the event must rank as the absolute bottom in the long history of the Belgian Grand Prix. When J. Y. Stewart and his small, but vociferous, band got the Belgian Grand Prix removed from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit I was very sad, for they had removed a pure road-race from the Grand Prix scene, and when there was no Belgian Grand Prix in 1971 I was equally sad, but thought it best that the whole affair be dead and buried and we could close the book on a history of twenty-nine Belgian Grand Prix races, all but one held on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the odd one being in 1946, immediately after the war when the race was held in Bruxelles. Last year the Grand Prix was revived on the Nivelles-Baulers Autodrom, and it all seemed a bit of a joke as regards being the Belgian Grand Prix. This year it moved to Zolder and was such a huge joke that it was no longer funny, it was depressing in the extreme.
The circuit of Zolder itself is not all that bad, and exudes quite a pleasant atmosphere, situated on sandy heathland amid pine trees, and is infinitely more pleasant than Nivelles-Baulers. For club-racing or small International events it is quite good, but it does not exude the air of a Great Occasion that is befitting a Nation’s Grand Prix. A great deal needed doing to the circuit itself to bring it anywhere near the standards required for a full-scale Grand Prix, and the work was done with enormous enthusiasm and energy by the circuit owners, but all much too late in the day. The CSI and the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium bent over backwards to get everything ready for the event, and the Formula One Constructors were equally helpful. When the whole Formula One “circus” arrived for practice on Friday it was obvious that there were going to be short-comings, but everyone was committed.