Seems like every day brings something new in Formula 1, and lately none of it's been good. Now we hear that our absolute favorite track on the calendar, Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps circuit, is on the brink of having its license stripped for – get this – 17 years.
Why? Because residents didn't appreciate that high-octane wailing brought on by the F1 circus, so the local Council of State instructed the circuit to conduct an environmental impact study. From the sounds of it, someone tried to get the study done the night before it was due, because the Council found it "seriously inadequate and incomplete." Instead of issuing a simple detention, the Council said "No race for you!" until, *gulp,* 2026.
Thankfully, Spa's director, Pierre-Alain Thibault, now says that "the situation has changed" since the original noise complaint was filed, that the circuit has worked with residents and lowered the decibels. Next year's race is provisionally scheduled for August 29, which gives Thibault a fair bit of time to talk to residents and challenge the Council's actions. A day's wrangling has given the circuit some breathing room to address all of the legal issues before it is officially closed, but it looks like they gotta lotta 'splainin' to do before they can guarantee a 2010 race. For the sake of F1 race fans everywhere, we hope Eau Rouge isn't taken from us. Hat tip to Ryan.
[Source: Crash.net | Image: nmajoros via CC 2.0]