Belgian GP Announces $3.8M Losses in 2008
According to RTL Belgium TV channel, last year's Belgian GP, hosted by the famous Spa-Francorchamps track, recorded losses of 3.8 million Euros. The drop in incomes was also the result of less spectators coming to Spa for the annual F1 event. As compared to circuit's 62,000 attendance in 2007, only 52,000 people chose to see the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix live.
The news comes only weeks after Dutch bank ING Group announced its immediate pullout from all F1 activities at the end of 2009. The aforementioned sponsor was one of the most important partners to financially sustain the Belgian GP in recent years. Although they'll honor their commitments in F1 for the remainder of 2009, ING have announced a cut of 40% of their sponsorship programme.
However, the Belgian officials did not panic, as they reckoned 2009 will be a better year in terms of weekend attendance for the F1 event. Given the fact that neighbors France will not have a GP of their own in 2009 – the Magny-Cours race was also scrapped off the F1 schedule due to financial difficulties – Belgium is counting on plenty of French fans arriving to Spa for the race.
The 2009 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps is scheduled August 28th thru 30th, counting for the 12th rounds of the F1 schedule.