F1 links: Belgian GP under-sold

Wanted: 24.000 F1 fans for Spa-Francorchamps

"The organisers of the Belgian Grand Prix at the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit have only sold 46.000 tickets for this weekend's race. To break-even, they have to sell no less than 70.000, so, only days before the weekend, the organisers of the event are hoping to find 24.000 fans to travel to the Belgian Ardennes."

The future of Valencia as an F1 venue

"The European Grand Prix at Valencia was not a success in 2008. It attracted a race day crowd of 115,123, although that seemed a rather optimistic figure to most of the F1 fraternity. This year the organisers claimed only 81,000."

Video: USF1 Team Players

"Guest host Krista Voda chats with SPEED Formula One announcer Bob Varsha, Team USF1 principle Ken Anderson and USF1's primary investor, YouTube Co-Founder and CEO, Chad Hurley. The team is set to make their Formula One debut in 2010 and recently confirmed that their primary financial backer would be, in fact, Chad Hurley."

BRDC members give green light to board at EGM

"At an EGM convened at Silverstone on Tuesday 25 August, the Members of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) voted overwhelmingly to grant powers to their Board, authorising them to entertain offers of investment in Silverstone and its core land."

Montezemolo gives Badoer one more chance, Bianchi waits for call up

"tTe Gazzetta mentions the name of Jules Bianchi, a 20 year old Frenchman who is dominating the Euro F3 series, the series which launched Sebastian Vettel into F1 in 2006. Bianchi could clinch that series as soon as the Spanish round on 20th September, which would give him a superlicence. Like Massa he is managed by Nicholas Todt, son of Jean."

Reflections on the European Grand Prix

"Valencia track. Some of you seemed to like it. I have to say I found the race boring. I even resorted to watching the Ashes during some stages on the Times on-line ball-by-ball which was excellent." Good job he wasn't on the live blog…

Brawn finds backing to secure F1 future

"Brawn GP CEO Nick Fry said the identity of the sponsors would likely be kept secret until the launch of is 2010 car. The team has been linked to deals with Emirates airline, Monster energy drink, Bwin and Telmex in the past."

Paddock Life: Valencia edition

"Badoer also showed he wasn't a push-over when one journalist asked him how confident he was, on the back of his lacklustre performance, that he would still be in the car in Spa – as had been confirmed all weekend. 'What is your opinion?' he hit back. 'What is your question? Where I should be? Are you a journalist? I told you already.'"

Red Bull set to make engine decision

Helmut Marko: "Of course there are facts that cannot be ignored, be it the four engine failures Sebastian had this year, with two occurring the last weekend. The six Mercedes drivers had none this year." Those are the kinds of words Renault chief Carlos Ghosn won't want to read.

Campos and Petrov

"It is reckoned that because there will be no refuelling next year, Cosworth cars will have to carry an additional 18kg of fuel. This will mean that the designers will have to build bigger fuel tanks and this will effect both the weight distribution of the cars and the handling. The result of all this will be that the cars will use their tyres less efficiently than the existing teams. Engineers from rival teams calculate that this will cost the three new Cosworth teams around three to four seconds a lap."

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17 comments on F1 links: Belgian GP under-sold

  1. Lustigson said on 27th August 2009, 9:05

    I’m not surprised by the slump in ticket sales at the Spa circuit. Prices range from € 159 for general admission and € 520 for allegedly the best seat in the house. And that’s Sunday only, and excluding travel and stay!

    I would like to visit a Grand Prix every year, or even several events per season, but I can’t (or rather won’t) pay that much for it.

    • that’s insane!!! i just bought 4 day grandstand tickets (on the first corner) for the australian GP for $415AU (€241). General Admission for the 4 days is only $185AU (€107). no wonder their not selling any. i would expect belgium to be more expensive obviously but €520 for one day is just insane!!! if anyone can afford that comfortably, i’ll have some of your money please!

    • gabal said on 27th August 2009, 10:25

      Same is with me – I would like to visit a grand prix but admission tickets are too high – and we have Bernie to thank about that one. I think that lower admission costs would bring commercial benefit as people don’t just pay for ticket and accomodation – they also spend money on food, memorabilia and entertainment and more people who come to the track means more people are spending money there.
      Australian GP has a sound strategy with affordable tickets and pairing up the race with a concert (I was seriously considering trying to see the race and go to The Who concert but alas I couldn’t afford the trip).
      Perhaps race promoters should unite into an organisation of their own or even join FOTA in some way and work together to get better deals…

    • I agree 100%. AT the moment I am looking at going to the MotoGP race at Indy next season. While the price may increase for 2010, this season’s tickets are priced at $75. Bit cheaper than the usual going rate for F1 isn’t it?

      On top of that, my $75 would be going to an elite motorsport series that is pleased to host not one, but two events in my home country, while Bernie couldn’t be bothered…..

      • beneboy said on 27th August 2009, 19:25

        I’m looking at MotoGP tickets for the Silverstone 2010 GP and 3-day tickets for the pit-straight (the most expensive ones) are £108 each and general admission 3-day tickets are £48 (both including “early bird” saving) with an extra £25 for camping.

        F1 tickets for the 2010 British GP are still unavailable (thanks Bernie !) but if we compare the price of MotoGp to Spa then I’m left with the choice of going to Spa on my own this weekend or taking 2 friends to Silverstone with me for the same admission price, it’s just insane !

        If the ticket prices for F1 came down to a more sensible level they could easily fill tracks like Spa several times over. I would love to go to a Spa GP, as would many of my friends, but how can you justify spending so much money on a single weekend ?

        I check out the tickets for the British GP every year and although I’d love to go I usually end up using the money for a week at the Isle of Man TT instead as I can never come up with a good enough argument to convince my friends that 3 days at Silverstone is better value than eight days in the Isle of Man.

        F1 prices are so high my friend only got to go to his first GP this year because he has a wonderful wife who agreed to have their honeymoon in Turkey and they asked our close group of friends for GP tickets as our collective wedding gift.

        • Ronman said on 28th August 2009, 7:15

          yeah i think if they put down the prices considerably, they can fill the stands, better yet, build more stands for more people so you can make profit. this way everyone wins,

          you get money, more people get to attend, and the value would be great.

          i was close to the turkish GP in 07, closest i ever got to attending a race, quote came back at 500 euros for saturday/sunday access, and i still had to pay flight and one night stay, that would have been near 1000 euros, 750 if i go by bus…i think that was way too much, i enjoyed it more on TV with live timing.

          • Bartholomew said on 28th August 2009, 19:21

            Let Bernie and CVC pay the difference out of their own pocket. Since we did not want a breakaway series, this is what we get.
            Those prices of admission are astronomical.

            Lets hope that Spa exists as a race within two years. Bernie can make more money in South Korea.
            Until there is a new breakaway series, this is what there is folks.

  2. Andrew White said on 27th August 2009, 9:34

    “…this will cost the three new Cosworth teams around three to four seconds a lap”

    Looks like we’re going to have a two-tier F1 after all…

  3. So not only will the new teams be slow because of their inexperience and their 2010 car being the first time they have designed an F1 car, it looks like the Cosworth engine will be uncompetitive in every. And if the rumours are correct they had to have Cosworth as their engine supplier for the FIA to choose them.

  4. Bigbadderboom said on 27th August 2009, 10:56

    RE Cosworth engines

    Max strikes again, how viable is this going to prove for the new teams, if as rumoured they ar going to be this far off the pace. I’m not sure sponsors are going to want to be associated with joke teams, just fighting over positions 18-24, hardly point scoring places! To be dragging 18 kg of extra fuel around is ludicrous on its own, but for it to be dragged about by a heavy old engine is ridculous. Once again the FIA have exercised control and sacrifised competition…..Well done!

    • Journeyer said on 27th August 2009, 11:28

      Once again the FIA have exercised control and sacrifised competition…..Well done!

      If I know the FIA, they’ll push the manufacturers out so that everyone ends up running Cosworths – hey, they become competitive again!

  5. steph90 said on 27th August 2009, 11:41

    Bernie once said cutting cvosts in F1 would eventually mean lower prices…but I bet only if his income isn’t hurt by it.
    Even to stay in Britain and go to Silverstone which is easiest still costs it’s mad.

  6. Nirupam said on 27th August 2009, 13:51

    The organisers of the Belgian Grand Prix at the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit have only sold 46.000 tickets for this weekend’s race

    Which means we can’t blame Turkish GP only for the poor attendance!

  7. I saw that same video on USF1- very good stuff, but someone in the studio forgot to tell Anderson to talk into the mic ;)

  8. John H said on 28th August 2009, 12:42

    I was going to drive there with a friend.

    Then we saw the price and forgot about the idea. I can’t remember the exact number, even though we wanted to book 1 year early it seemed pretty extortionate.

    I’m not sure whether to blame Bernie completely, because I think prices at a little lower cost would have filled the place and they would have made more money doing it that way.

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