Spa and the Taxpayers...
For graphic proof of exactly why Bernie Ecclestone insists upon governmental guarantees when signing up Formula One Grand Prix venues, look no further than two of the sport's 'S' circuits: Spa-Francorchamps and Sepang.
The former has had a chequered history since hosting the fourth-ever World Championship Grand Prix in 1950. Run on the frighteningly fast 14.08 kilometre, triangular circuit - made up of a mix of flowing public roads - until 1968 (albeit with a skip in 1957), Spa-Francorchamps found itself canned for 1969 after a rigorous safety campaign led by Jackie Stewart.
The Scot, having survived a 200 km/h crash on the day after his twenty-seventh birthday, found himself trapped for what must have seemed like hours in a petrol-dripping monocoque tub whilst fire extinguisher-less marshals sawed and clawed and hammered at chassis members tubes to extricate him. Eventually he was freed, but only after teammate Graham Hill begged some agricultural tools with which to free his stricken colleague from a nearby farmhouse. Then, the ambulance took another ten minutes to arrive.