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Minister wants compensation for disappointed Belgian Grand Prix fans
The 75,000 unlucky spectators who attended Sunday's rained-off Belgian Grand Prix should receive some form of compensation as a "goodwill gesture", said Wallonia's economy minister Willy Borsus.
This year’s Formula One at Spa-Francorchamps was an anti-climactic race as the weather conditions halted the event after a mere two laps. After the three-hour delay due to the weather, attendees were left even more disappointed when the race was suspended altogether.
Although persistent rain is par for the course at the Ardennes racetrack, 75,000 spectators were let down by the occasion. As the mandatory two laps behind the safety car had been completed prior to the event’s suspension, organisers and promoters had fulfilled their obligations. This means the spectators are ineligible for a refund.
Borsus acknowledged the disappointment felt by spectators and organisers alike and said there should be the possibility of a price reduction for next year’s race to make up for Sunday’s turn of events.
"It's really sad for the fans and the organisers," he told RTL. "Last year, due to the pandemic, the race took place without spectators - and then there was the rain this weekend, which led to people waiting for three-and-a-half hours.
"I would like to see a goodwill gesture to the public, perhaps a reduction next year. We must take into account the fact that people waited for many hours. People were disappointed even if the weather is outside of our control."
Whether a future discount or another form of compensation for the attendees is in the works remains to be seen. "I think that the board of directors and the management of the Grand Prix will meet to discuss this very soon," Borsus added.
Photo: Belga © Benoît Doppagne