Common sense and Formula One don’t exactly go hand in hand do they? This season has been scandal after scandal, from Lewis Hamilton’s liegate drama in Melbourne, through to the high-profile Renault crashgate case; it’s hardly been a quiet season.
Throw in the whole breakaway threat from FOTA and Michael Schumacher’s ‘comeback’, you’d almost be forgiven for thinking that any track action had taken place this year as they’ve all been too busy squabbling.
But for me, the most alarming story to come out of Formula One this year has seemingly completely slipped under the radar – Spa has had its permit to hold any king of racing until 2026 revoked.
Spa is top of my list of circuits to visit on the Formula One calendar and I was even in the early stages of planning a trip there to watch next year’s Belgian GP on 29 August.
We’ve been deprived of Spa on the calendar twice this decade in 2003 and 2006, so if we lose it for the whole of the next decade and beyond then F1 will be a much poorer place. Who doesn’t want to stand at the top of Eau Rouge watching the cars accelerate out of the La Source hairpin?
The revoke comes from a complaint from local residents about the associated noise levels racing brings with it. The whole thing could have been avoided if Spa had carried out a proper investigation as it was supposed to do, but it seems the circuit left the appropriate forms in the ‘in tray’ until the very last moment.
The report it eventually filed was described as “seriously inadequate and incomplete”. Eek. But hope is around the corner. As it stands, there can be no Belgian GP, but I’d be amazed if the circuit didn’t get its licence back in time for the Formula One circus to role back into town next summer, armed with its latest scandal no doubt.
The local council of state is guilty of cutting of its nose to spite its face; can they seriously turn down the associated economic gains the Formula One fraternity brings with it each year?