Andre Maes, an official from the circuit, has blamed the “horrible weather all weekend [providing] little incentive for people to come”, but this needs to be put into context with historical attendance figures well above 100,000 fans in the late 1990s.
The reduced race attendance figures won’t help the event secure a greater slice of local government funding when the venue’s current contract to host the Belgian Grand Prix runs out at the end of 2012.
“It is necessary to reduce the impact of this event on the finances of the Walloon region," admitted Jean-Claude Marcourt, minister for the local economy.
Added budget minister Andre Antoine: "It doesn’t mean we intend to end the contract. But at the time of negotiation, [the finances] will be borne in mind."
The future of the Spa-Francorchamps venue’s hosting rights recently came under threat in August, with suggestions the rival venues might be prepared to stump up a higher promotional fee to Formula One Management – the parent company owned by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]