McLaren boss Ron Dennis has outlined that if Spa is to secure its place on future grand prix calendars, there is more to the issue than tobacco advertising
"There are 17 races permitted in the current world championship and there are several countries prepared to go further in providing venues, better facilities, circuits and inevitably a better package for the electronic and print media." Dennis said.
"You then qualify that by saying that Spa is a particularly challenging circuit and has the charisma that stems from Eau Rouge, through the length of the track to the fact that it sometimes rains halfway round - all of these things. We have to be careful about moving too far away from the heritage elements of racing but there has to be a balance. I think organisers sometimes play heavily on that aspect. Putting aside Spa, can you conceive not having a Monaco Grand Prix? No? Well, imagine the advantage that places the organisers in when it comes to the commercial package.
"To a certain degree some of the circuits trade on that to try to optimise their own commercial position. And that means that as a revenue generating race this is probably right at the bottom of the scale. If someone like Turkey or Bahrain comes in and the commercial terms are significantly better - which gets passed down to everybody - then you have to look at it and ask if this is the way to up the quality of grand prix racing.
Spa, it is believed, could come under serious threat from 2004 onwards.
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