The Spa-Francorchamps event faced stern demands from F1 to enhance its fan experience after the disappointing 2021 edition, which was marred by heavy rain. Despite its rich history and thrilling track, the circuit’s appeal alone was no longer enough to secure its place on the F1 calendar.
Embracing Liberty Media’s vision of a modern grand prix, Spa made significant efforts to revitalize the event. With the support of an 80-million-euro government-backed investment plan, the aging circuit underwent a transformation to bring it up to par with the demands of the 21st century. Upgraded facilities, new grandstands, and off-track entertainment impressed F1’s decision-makers, resulting in a one-year extension for the 2023 race.
Once again, Spa Grand Prix faces a familiar situation, with negotiations for a fresh one-year deal hanging in the balance, similar to last year’s dilemma due to the South African Grand Prix. However, after the Kyalami plan fell through until at least 2024, reports suggest that Belgium’s short-term future is secure. Nonetheless, discussions with F1 regarding the 2024 race are still ongoing, with the event set to take place in late July.
Meanwhile, Spa remains committed to enhancing the fan experience for the sold-out 2023 edition. The event’s website only offers limited tickets, including a unique “experience in the sky” lunch served atop a 150-foot crane, providing unparalleled views of the Ardennes circuit.
Stijn de Boever, the event’s commercial director, shared, “We have increased our daily spectator capacity from 100,000 to 110,000, including an additional 10,000 grandstand tickets compared to last year.” The event has introduced two new grandstands across from the endurance pits: an open-air stand with 3,000 seats and a covered grandstand with 4,000 seats.
“To accommodate these extra 10,000 fans, we have enhanced security measures and facilities, including larger fan zones and improved comfort. We are also expanding entertainment options off the track, with announcements of new artists to be made in the upcoming weeks.”
De Boever continued, “We have introduced new parking areas and zones to streamline the experience of visiting Spa. Cars without parking stickers will not be allowed in the immediate vicinity of the circuit, ensuring fans lose less time.”
While Spa strives to impress both fans and Formula 1, uncertainties persist regarding its long-term future. Liberty Media continues to seek new events in major cities, with plans to take on the promotion of the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix. As European race slots become limited, rumors circulate that Audi might support the revival of the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim when it officially partners with Sauber in 2026.
However, premature reports suggest that the Belgian Grand Prix and the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort will alternate races starting from 2025.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Spa-Francorchamps F1
What steps did Spa-Francorchamps take to improve its fan offering?
Spa-Francorchamps took several steps to enhance its fan offering. They embraced Liberty Media’s vision of a modern grand prix and invested 80 million euros to bring the aging circuit into the 21st century. They upgraded facilities, introduced new grandstands, and offered off-track entertainment to provide a better experience for the fans.
Is the future of Spa-Francorchamps secure on the F1 calendar?
While there are ongoing negotiations, the short-term future of Spa-Francorchamps seems secure. Talks for a fresh one-year deal are in progress, and despite previous uncertainties, reports suggest that Spa’s place on the calendar for 2024 is looking positive. However, long-term uncertainties remain as Liberty Media explores new events in major cities.
What can fans expect from the 2023 edition of Spa-Francorchamps F1?
Fans can look forward to an improved experience at the 2023 edition of Spa-Francorchamps F1. The event has increased its daily spectator capacity, added new grandstands, and enhanced security measures and facilities. There will be larger fan zones, more comfort, and a variety of off-track entertainment options. Additionally, unique experiences like the “experience in the sky” lunch, offering stunning views of the circuit, will be available.
Are there any plans for alternating races between the Belgian Grand Prix and the Dutch Grand Prix?
There have been premature reports suggesting that the Belgian Grand Prix and the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort will alternate races starting from 2025. However, these reports are yet to be confirmed, and it is uncertain whether such arrangements will be put into effect. The situation regarding alternating races between these two events remains unclear at this time.
More about Spa-Francorchamps F1
- Spa-Francorchamps Circuit – Official website of the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit.
- F1 Official Website – The official website of Formula 1, providing news, updates, and information about races and circuits.
- Liberty Media – Official website of Liberty Media, the parent company of Formula 1.
- Kyalami Circuit – Official website of the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa.
- Audi Motorsport – Official website of Audi Motorsport, the motorsport division of Audi.
- German Grand Prix – Official website of the Hockenheimring, host of the German Grand Prix.
- Dutch Grand Prix – Official website of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.
- Las Vegas Grand Prix – Official website of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.