Ask a (European) race driver for it’s favorite corner and chances are quite big he (or she) will say: ‘Eau Rouge‘. This corner, in the Ardennes is named after the little river that runs under it and is colored slightly red: ‘Eau Rouge’ or ‘Red Water’ if you would translate it literally but it sounds less sexy that way. The corner is part of the circuit of Francorchamps, and it is the greates corner on one of the most beautiful race tracks ever made. It could just use some marketing.
Isn’t it weird that Francorchamps struggles to sell enough tickets to get break-even? It’s one of the longest (if not the longest) tracks in F1 so plenty of seating around it. It’s loved by most F1 drivers who think it’s the most exciting track to race on. It’s in the center of Europe so close by for German, French, Dutch, English and other European fans. Looking at all these aspects, it can’t be that not having a Belgian F1 driver is the reason. It’s got to be marketing.
A circuit like Francorchamps needs to have about 100.000 people visiting on the whole weekend (so not just on Sunday at the race). There were almost so many people on the Renault Days in Zolder, without all the star element to it of F1. So how did they make that work then? It’s definitely cheaper but they did a good job on marketing for the event.
It’ll be curious to see how the event goes this year. With Hamilton in such a good shape there’s a whole potential group of fans from the UK for whom this GP is the closest to home apart from Silverstone. And hopefully the organisers up their marketing efforts a bit.