Fickle weather, low ticket sales for Spa - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Fickle weather, low ticket sales for Spa

F1 ready for fickle Spa weather (GMM) As ever in the fickle Ardennes forest region, it might or it might not rain at some point during this weekend's Belgian grand prix event.

Not a cloud in the sky could be seen throughout most of the charming opening day at Spa-Francorchamps, as the popular circuit's paddock filled with activity and some teams like Red Bull practiced pit stops on the other side of the garages.

Some weather forecasts, however, are forecasting a chance of rain for later this weekend, despite the fact it was unseasonably hot in the region just last week.

In a team preview, Red Bull humorously advised visitors to Spa this weekend to have at the ready things like "rubber boots", a "thermal vest" and "fog lights".

Temperatures will hover in the high teens to low twenties, while a prediction earlier this week by Meteo France, F1's official weather forecaster, said rain is actually not a high likelihood.

F1's official website on the other hand says "showers are forecast for Thursday through Saturday", although race-day Sunday should be dry and only partially cloudy.

"Even when the weather seems reasonable at Spa you have to be prepared for anything," said Toyota's technical chief Pascal Vasselon. "But don't think that Spa cannot offer very good weather.

"I live close to there and the number of nice sunny days is actually very high; its reputation is exaggerated," the Frenchman added.

Also, from other sources: Ticket sales seem to be way below normal for this year's race, less than 55,000 as of Thursday. While Bernie insists on a high guarantee, the promoters are taking a bath. Bernie says while he loves the traditional races in F1 like Spa, they must compete with other venues clamoring for an F1 date.

It is believed Spa has a contract to host F1 until 2012, but the ongoing willingness of the local Walloon government to pick up the losses is in question.

Ecclestone said: "That's normal. Governments in other countries pay much more and I have at least five requests for new races outside of Europe.

"The value of F1 is high," the 78-year-old insisted. "If you want to drive a Mercedes, you have to earn your money and pay dearly."
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