The Belgian Grand Prix is officially off the 2006 F1 World Championship calendar, the FIA announced on this afternoon. The race had been in doubt for some time, most recently when Belgian officials said negotiations for a deal had broken down, but official confirmation from F1's governing body came today.
The Belgian Grand Prix had been scheduled for 17 September but a statement issued by the FIA this afternoon explained, "The Belgian National Sporting Authority, the RACB, has written to notify the FIA of the withdrawal of the 2006 Belgian Grand Prix from the FIA Formula One World Championship. The withdrawal has been made in order to allow the completion of extensive improvement work to facilities at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit."
The statement added that the Belgian Grand Prix could return to the calendar in 2007.
First it's on, then it's off, then it's on again and now it's officially off. It's still sad though, I like that track.
The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps will return to the F1 calendar in 2007, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said. F1's governing body, the FIA confirmed yesterday afternoon that the event had been pulled from the 2006 calendar after it received a letter from the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium that said the race would be cancelled so the venue could undergo an overhaul.
"The race has not gone forever," Ecclestone said. I'm happy they've decided to do the rebuilding work even though it means the race won't happen this year. Spa has not been up to standard for quite some time and they need to spend a bit of time and money on improving the paddoc facilities and building new grandstands."
"If they get all their work done on time then there will be no problem at all and the race will be back in 2007, without a doubt," he added.
The Belgian Grand Prix was scheduled for 17 September and its removal means there will now be 18 races this season. Renovation work at the track is expected to begin in the Autumn.