Belgium and France to share F1 race from 2013

2013 F1 calendar

Start, Paul Ricard, 1987

The 1987 French Grand Prix begins at Paul Ricard

The French Grand Prix is set to return to the F1 calendar at the Paul Ricard circuit, according to a report in L’Equipe.

The race will return to the calendar on alternate years, sharing a slot with the Belgian Grand Prix.

This means Spa-Francorchamps will only feature on the calendar in alternate years.

The French round will return to the calendar in 2013 at Paul Ricard, which last held an F1 race in 1990. The track held 14 world championship races beginning in 1971.

Thanks to Gwenouille for the tip.

View the 2012 F1 calendar.

2012 F1 calendar

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135 comments on Belgium and France to share F1 race from 2013

  1. well, it is a shame to get spa only every second year, but the problem was simple : spa (or whoever is in charge of the circuit) loses money every time they organise a GP because bernie is asking for too much.

    So instead of losing yet another great track, todt fought for a compromise : we keep spa and we get back a french GP, on a famous track, to share the costs.

    after all is not a bad news. it shows that Todt wants to keep the f1 in its historical countries.
    we already lost imola and hockenheim. monza is not looking good. interlagos and suzuka neither.

  2. Daniel said on 28th August 2011, 12:02

    Ridiculous situation. Don’t the concorde agreement protect the “classic tracks” from being taken out of the calendar? Or is it just a myth?

    Anyway, I think Formula 1 loses too much without Spa. People say Monaco is the spiritual home of F1, with its glamour, seaside views, narrow corners, etc, etc, and it’s not wrong.

    On the other hand, I think the true spirit of F1 is on long tracks that cross european woods and hills and valleys in local roads connecting small towns (after all, Spa circuit is in fact “Spa-Francorchamps”).

    I know there’s nothing like that anymore, but the closest example still standing is Spa-Francorchamps track, with ist 7km. Nurburgring by now is common autodrome.

    My only hope is that, with the soverign debt crisis, Spain won’t be able to host two Grand Prix per season for too long, and then one of its tracks might be taken out once their contracts expire, so Spa can come back to its permanent slot.

    In fact, my best hope is that it is just a fake rumor…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th August 2011, 12:23

      Don’t the concorde agreement protect the “classic tracks” from being taken out of the calendar? Or is it just a myth?

      Myth. The Concorde Agreement sets out the commercial arrangement between FOM and the teams. It has no power to influence the calendar. And even if it did, having Spa every other year technically satisfies the requirement that “classic circuits” remain on the calendar.

  3. I believe this when I see it happen!

  4. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 28th August 2011, 12:14

    Well, I’d rather have Spa once every two years thatn never again, so it’s sort of a good thing. But how do we go about getting Spa back on to the calendar permanently? Simple, we all buy tickets for the Belgian/French GP’s from 2013 and continue to do so for so long as it takes for the business cases of these races to justify booting out one of the “boring races”! Come on F1F’s let’s make it happen! ;)

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th August 2011, 12:24

    Why don’t people understand that swapping Paul Ricard with somewhere like Valencia or Bahrain is simply not possible? Spa is obviously the only circuit on the calendar where this is a) feasible under the terms of the contract, and b) the organisers are willing to do it.

  6. It’s great to see Paul Ricard back, though we’ve yet to see which of the umteen thousand layouts they will use.

    I would gladly have traded Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Valencia all together just for Paul Ricard.

    … but not Spa!

  7. FullSpe3d (@dryyoshi) said on 28th August 2011, 12:26

    Paul Ricard is a good circuit, but you just cant do this to Spa. Get rid of valencia, and replace it with Paul Ricard. NO ONE LIKES VALENCIA, ITS ABSOLUTE CRAP

  8. Shimks said on 28th August 2011, 12:37

    Awful news. But better than what we were hearing last year (or the year before?), that we might lose Spa completely.

    It’s a business. Bernie doesn’t give a damn about anything else. But however many times I try to bang that into my head, it just doesn’t stick. His decisions continually seem morally wrong because they so often go against the wishes of F1 fans.

    How many years of contracts on crap circuits do we have left? :O(

    • Daniel said on 28th August 2011, 12:51

      His decisions continually seem morally wrong because they so often go against the wishes of F1 fans.

      I think it’s not only a “moral” issue, but taken Spa or other classic tracks out might be wrong even in the business point of view.

      Without Spa, the “spetacle” loses, the “show” is not as good as it is with cars crossing Eau Rouge flat out.

      Sponsors pay for the show to happen, but the fans (viewers/consumers?) are the reason why sponsors pay for.

      If the viewing figures decrease (isn’t it the other topic?) that sponsors will be less interested.

      I honestly thing that if we have 20 Barcelonas, or Budapests, or Shangais, or Abu Dhabis on the calendar, and no Spas, Suzukas, Interlagos, Montreals, or Silverstones, then many viewers will leave the sport (me included, probably).

  9. MattW said on 28th August 2011, 13:03


  10. ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 28th August 2011, 15:02

    You disappoint me, Bernie

  11. Jack van den Berg-Hider said on 28th August 2011, 16:17

    I really cannot get my head around the need for there to a European Grand Prix and especially that Grand Prix to be held at one of the most uncharacterising and pretty muchn boring track. Who really wants to watch a race where all you see is concrete, boats and really boring racing. I’m 18 and I can run F1 better than Bernie. Although he is from Bungay. Hmm. But I can see the logical solution to this problem being that the Europeam GP is held at Paul Ricard. Spa is saved and Valenica is scraped.

    This decision as well as the Sky deal, will surely ruin F1 in England. I for one shall be not watching next year.

  12. Josef said on 28th August 2011, 18:05

    Accesibility issues for Spa… Well I’m sorry but that sounds like a load of BS to me, I have been to Spa 2 years ago and yes the roads aren’t that great, but then so what, it’s not like you’re commuting there every day for your job, you go there once a year at the most for the GP, so people should stop worrying about great facilities and accesability, if they want that then they should visit Abu Dhabi so they can fall asleep thanks to a boring track hosting a boring track, I watch F1 for the beautiful tracks such as Spa hosting great races, that’s why I love the sport, not because a track has easy access or an airconditioned paddock…

  13. Mads (@mads) said on 28th August 2011, 18:26

    Wait.. why was this necessary again? To axe (every two years of cause) one of the oldest and most loved race circuits in F1 in favor of Paul Ricard?..
    Paul Ricard might not be a bad circuit compared to the standard of the current F1 tracks around and i am glad to get the French GP back, but it will be a total disaster when they alternate it with Spa.
    Who will ever like that circuit then? I won’t because i know what i could have if they went to Spa instead.
    I know Belgium have trouble raising the money, but mind you. Sometimes Bernie needs to do what is best for the sport, not for his bank account.
    F1 needs to get money from somewhere, but lets just keep it real here. F1 needs its roots and history. There are certain things that is more important to F1 then money and ticket prices. And that is Monaco, Monza, Spa and Canada.
    Why not give tracks a discount for their popularity and then raise the feed for the non popular races. And official pole could solve that. The track that gets the fewest votes have to pay the most for being on the calender. That way Bahrain and Abu Dhabi would have to spend all their money to pay off Bernie to stay on the calender and we could keep the classic circuits, even if they get in economical trouble.
    First the BBC news, and now this.. What is next?

  14. CWT1965 said on 28th August 2011, 19:14

    Bernie owns Paul Ricard what a coincidence, just trying to grab more money for himself

  15. Lucas Alexander Munro - Mr. Veloce of Britalia - Yours With Wings said on 28th August 2011, 21:16

    I think if this was going to happen, Bahrain should be get rid of on the calender, Bahrain & Turkey are far less superior in F1 popularity than Belgium & France.

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