Belgian government moves to save Spa

Belgian senators have moved to save the country's Grand Prix, by voting in favour of postponing the introduction of a tobacco advertising ban until 2006

Belgian government moves to save Spa

The race, held at the famous Spa circuit, was dropped from the Formula 1 calendar because Belgium is due to introduce a tobacco advertising ban next year rather than in 2006, when a global ban on tobacco advertising will be introduced.

The Belgium Senate's Social Affairs Commission voted 8-7 in favour of a bill that would postpone the advertising ban. Before it can become law, the bill must still pass through the upper and lower houses of parliament.

Senator's are hopeful that the race can be reinstated on the 2003 calendar, which was reduced from 17 to 16 races after Spa was dropped. "We're lucky in that our Grand Prix has not been given to someone else," said Senator Jean-Marie Happart.

Even if the bill does pass, postponing the ban may not be enough for Spa to be reintroduced on the calendar next season. The FIA recently stated that there was no chance for the race to be reinstated on the 2003 calendar.

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