The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is certainly one of the circuits on the Formula 1 calendar most loved by fans and the drivers on the grid. The Belgian track has been the venue for legendary races over the years and remains one of the very few truly ‘old school’ tracks on the World Championship calendar today.
Never as this year, however, has the permanence of the Spa-Francorchamps race on the calendar been questioned. The high interest from overseas in hosting more Grands Prix and events that are commercially much more attractive circuits than those in Europe had made many fear there was the real threat of losing the Belgian Grand Prix for the following years. Much to the relief of all fans, however, the Formula 1 top management and the ownership of the track that winds through the Ardennes have found an agreement to save the Belgian event at least for next season.
The importance of keeping the race in Spa, for Belgium, however, goes beyond the sporting and emotional value of the event. In fact, having a Formula 1 race run on one’s own territory is very important from an economic point of view for the small northern European state and in particular for the host region: Wallonia.
The Belgian website Trends recently published a study, carried out by Deloitte, according to which the 2022 edition of the Belgian Grand Prix generated economic benefits estimated at 41.8 million euros for Wallonia. The figure is a net increase compared to 2017, when the figure fluctuated around 20 million euros. The overall benefits for the entire Belgian state are estimated at 55.1 million euros compared to 29.5 million in 2017.
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The Walloon Economy Minister, Wily Borsus, also expressed himself clearly on the matter, saying: “We were convinced of this before and we have shown it once again: the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix creates value for Wallonia and for its economy. This great event generates over 41 million euros of economic benefits for our Region, and this, net of the government intervention aimed at covering the annual cost, which has been steadily decreasing in recent years, produces a great return on investment: one euro invested brings € 9.67 of added value to Belgium, of which € 7.33 for Wallonia.” – Wily Borsus concluded.