Belgian GP promoter Vanessa Maes has refuted claims that Spa-Francorchamps has become excessively hazardous for the Formula 1 calendar.
Concerns have been raised by drivers about the potential for cancelled sessions this weekend due to the kind of rain conditions that led to a junior category fatality at the top of Eau Rouge recently.
However, Maes countered the notion, asserting that Spa is “no more dangerous” than any other circuit.
“Motorsport remains dangerous, but safety is the top priority of the circuit, Spa Grand Prix, the FIA, and Liberty Media,” she emphasized.
The safety discussions at Spa arise at a crucial juncture for the organizers, as the current race contract with Formula 1 is set to expire after 2024.
“There are many candidates, and there are few places on the calendar,” Maes acknowledged.
“After this event, we will have talks. We will not let this go,” she affirmed.
A major rumor suggests that F1 may only consider a new deal with Spa-Francorchamps if it is annually rotated with the nearby Dutch GP at Zandvoort.
“F1 is evolving very quickly,” Maes commented when asked about this possibility. “It’s a brave person who can predict what will happen in two years in this sport. Certainly not me.
“But we want to host F1 here every year. A lot of people rely on this event. Yes, it takes investment and support from the Walloon government, but the return is there. It’s worth it.”
Maes mentioned that Spa had already responded to Liberty Media’s request for “a lot more entertainment” alongside the Formula 1 action last year.
“We receive 110,000 spectators every day,” she explained. “That’s 10,000 more than in previous years. Half of them are Dutch.”
In conclusion, Maes stated, “F1 with Spa is perfume. Without Spa, F1 is only cologne.”