Something’s got to give on Formula 1’s increasingly congested calendar

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Las Vegas has become the latest addition to the Formula 1 calendar for 2023, giving a clear indication of how Liberty Media plans to conduct the next few seasons in the sport now that its popularity is rising, particularly in America, thanks in part to Netflix’s Drive to Survive.

Interest isn’t just rising Stateside, however. Last weekend, Australia saw a crowd of 420,000 turn up over four days in Melbourne, making it one of the biggest weekends in the country’s sporting history.

The addition of a third American venue, particularly one in such a desirable location as the Las Vegas Strip, is exciting for a sport which has long craved popularity in the USA. But it raises concerns over the longevity of other, more historic events, some of which may be in a precarious position financially.

The German Grand Prix is one recent casualty. The event long pre-dates the creation of the world championship, taking place at the Nurburgring, Hockenheimring and, occasionally, Berlin’s now-closed AVUS facility.

Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Hockenheimring, 2019
The German Grand Prix was last held in 2019
Between 2007 and 2014 the race alternated between the Hockenheimring and Nurburgring, until the latter dropped off the calendar. Hockenheim continued to return in alternate years, but dropped off after 2019. While F1 returned to the Nurburgring in 2020 for the Eifel Grand Prix, it was only a one-off as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the sport now focusing on the higher fees made available with races hosted in the Middle East and other locations, the return of Germany may not be on the cards any time soon. Could other venues like Paul Ricard and Spa face a similar fate?

Even Monaco’s race, the most famous on the calendar, may be in doubt. However this week Michel Boeri, the president of the Automobile Club de Monaco, quashed such speculation, insisting a new deal of potentially up to five years is in sight. But that will only increase the pressure on those that remain.

When Fernando Alonso came into the sport two decades ago Europe, held 11 of the 17 rounds. Next year’s schedule could feature 24 races, as few as a third of which may be in Europe.

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“It’s the way it is, the way Formula 1 is going,” said Alonso. “So, we accept it.

“There are some positives, bringing Formula 1 to new countries and discovering these new races. I think Las Vegas, for example, it’s going to be very exciting. And Miami, and these kinds of weekends.”

He is more concerned about how many races there are than where they are held. “We need to be careful with the number of races, which I think we need to. We should agree on a limit, because I think for the teams, it’s quite demanding, how the schedule and the calendar is now, especially that we don’t have so many races in Europe anymore.

“So, I think that’s the only concern if we keep adding races.”

The French Grand Prix only returned in 2018
However, his team mate Esteban Ocon is concerned his home grand prix could be the next in the firing line. “I’m very happy to discover new tracks but yes, to see the French Grand Prix at threat, definitely I will do everything I can, to be vocal on that, to try and keep it on the calendar,” he said.

“We’ve lived so many good moments with the French fans there. It’s extremely special when we go there every year. I don’t know what’s the situation exactly but I’m not happy to hear that it’s under threat at the moment and I will do everything I can to keep it on the calendar.”

He is also concerned other historic venues could be under threat. “We haven’t lost the great Spa, the great Monza and all these circuits at the moment, so yeah, it would be definitely a big shame to lose them, and I think we’re all on the same opinion, you know, drivers, teams, and probably Formula 1 as well.”

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“But I’m happy to go to Vegas and Miami and discover a little bit the States and the new tracks,” he added.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali recently raised eyebrows after indicating he had enough interest from promoters to fill 30 places on the calendar. The sport remains limited to 24, but 23 is already proving to be a stretch for some teams and drivers, as many are spending the majority of the year on the road as F1 looks to squeeze as much profit as they can from their recent boost.

Perhaps more concerning, the Italian also spoke to some media in Bahrain citing that “some of the current grand prix will no longer be part of the calendar” and they will be replaced by “new grand prix.”

Start, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019
An eventual return to China seems inevitable
Other venues will add more pressure to future calendars. China’s Zhou Guanyu will also likely fuel some fire to see the return of a Chinese Grand Prix with more races seemingly rumoured month-by-month.

Qatar is set to return: It held a race last year and was originally due to take a one-year break while it hosts the FIFA World Cup before coming back.

It was rumoured as a potential replacement for the cancelled Russian Grand Prix this year, but a September date would mean uncomfortably high temperatures even if the race is again held at night. Back-to-back races in Singapore is now thought to be the likeliest solution, which will also help to ease teams’ rapidly escalating travel costs.

But if F1 is at risk of losing tracks that are steeped in motorsport heritage, which should be a concern for bosses, why then are they adding a third race in America?

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jnr believes allowing heritage venues to share calendar slots – as the German tracks once did – could be a solution to the predicament.

“I think there needs to be a limit for the number of races that we keep adding, so in the end, some other races are going to pay the price of having to stay out,” said the Spaniard.

“Obviously I’m a big fan of having to go to Miami and Vegas, but at the same time, it’s a big loss having to lose classic European races, I think.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Mugello, 2020
Rotating races each season could be an solution
“Hopefully for the future, we can find a compromise where maybe races that cannot afford to be in the calendar every year, year-in, year-out, can be in the calendar once every two years, once every three years, and we keep coming back to the places that we’ve always been.

“Business is business. Liberty and Formula 1 will look at what they have to do, I guess, for business. But I wouldn’t like to stop racing in Europe. I think it’s a great place to go racing, it’s where our heritage is and I think we need to keep coming back, even if it’s not every single year, but at least keep it on the calendar.”

No one begrudges F1’s desire to make money but if the sport allows too many circuits that are vital to the sport’s history it risks losing part of its identity.

But the appeal of the US market is obvious and it is one the sport has struggled to tap into previously. Having three American races in a season isn’t a first. Former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone arranged a trio of US rounds in 1982 but two of those venues – Las Vegas (again) and Long Beach – were gone within two years, and Detroit followed after five more.

The US Grand Prix returned to the calendar in 2012 at Austin. Around the same time, Ecclestone again tried to add another round, courting a race around the streets of New Jersey, but that also failed to materialise. Ecclestone had said he understood the importance of the audience in America, but admitted he was “not very enthusiastic” about the States.

His successor, Domenicali, is hoping to succeed in new territories where Ecclestone did not, and the signs are promising so far. But with heritage races in Britain and Spain proclaiming strong ticket sales, surely there is enough space for the both the new and old to live harmoniously together on the calendar?

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Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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  • 62 comments on “Something’s got to give on Formula 1’s increasingly congested calendar”

    1. I would not particularly mind losing classic venues providing the replacements are equally good. But for me new venues that meet this standard since the mid 90s (when I started watching) are Sepang, Portimao and Instanbul Park, with maybe also Losail and COTA. I would not mind losing the French, German, British, Monoco or Spanish GP for one of them. But instead we get new circuits which have massive long straights and little elevation change.

      And it should go without saying that Spa, Interlagos and Suzuka are untouchable.

      1. some racing fan
        16th April 2022, 8:14

        You wouldn’t mind losing the British GP? That’s a hugely important race, and Silverstone is still a very nice track…

        1. Silverstone is dreadful, and has been since the 2010 reconfiguration. Bring back Bridge!

          1. I disagree. Silverstone is a great circuit

          2. The current Silverstone layout is alright. But pre 2010, jeez, my favorite track when I was a child. Super fast and fun to drive.

    2. some racing fan
      16th April 2022, 8:13

      You know what the real problems are with the calendar?

      1. Triple headers. Maybe 1 per season, but no more.
      2. There are too many Middle Eastern races. That is nothing more than a cash-grab for Liberty.
      3. F1 races in Saudi Arabia. This is capitalistic cynicism at it’s worst.
      4. Liberty is considering a second Chinese race before even seeing how Zhou’s presence will affect the Shanghai race. A race in Hong Kong (if possible) wouldn’t be a bad idea but a second on the Chinese mainland is not a good idea.
      5. (Very unpopular opinion) Imola, as great a track as it is, is on the calendar. There should only be 1 GP per European country- it should make room for the German or the French GP (if Ricard goes).
      6. (Potentially unpopular opinion) There might be a 4th US GP in or near New York City. Now that is far from being a bad idea, but considering how congested the calendar is and that Montreal has long since owned that market (the northeastern US and eastern Canada), it’s not necessary.
      7. There should be a race in Finland, preferably at the Kymi Ring (which would need a homologation). This is a country that has produced 3 F1 world champions and is effectively the home of rallying- but has never hosted a Grand Prix- not even before 1950.

      1. some racing fan
        16th April 2022, 8:15

        also- 8. Catalunya is still on the calendar. F1 teams should not race at specific layouts of tracks they use for testing. They should consider Aragon.

      2. @some racing fan – I agree with you on 1 & 8, but not really the rest.
        BTW, Hong Kong is in mainland China to be specific.

        1. some racing fan
          16th April 2022, 9:23

          You and I almost never agree on anything, so no surprise there.

        2. Wouldn’t mind seeing that New Jersey layout revived and rotate with another US race — didn’t look great for racing, but the new cars should help. And plenty of elevation change there.

          @jerejj Hong Kong may be attached to the Chinese mainland but it is not politically part of “mainland China,” as the term is commonly used and understood.

          1. @markzastrow Thank you for clarifying as I misunderstood what some racing fan implied.

          2. some racing fan
            16th April 2022, 21:34

            Oh, absolutely. I would love to see that. Maybe the NY and LV races could alternate?

      3. Anonymous Commenter
        16th April 2022, 20:09

        Points 3 and 4, double standards. you dont mind 2 races in china but oppose a single one in saudi? why exactly?

        1. some racing fan
          18th April 2022, 7:45

          I said I opposed 2 Grand Prixs on the Chinese mainland. Hong Kong is autonomous from China- it isn’t governed under mainland Chinese law.

      4. @someracingfan there should be one race per country plus one bonus round for one lucky country per year. It’s frankly ridiculous that the USA gets three rounds as it is. A fourth round would be an affront.

    3. Well F1 fanbase growth outside Europe is faster than that of inside Europe so it only makes sense to have more races outside Europe.

      Which isn’t to say, don’t hold races inside Europe but less of the overall percentage being there makes sense.

      1. It’ll be interesting to see if this apparent explosion in interest will be a long term thing. I imagine F1 would have been relatively difficult to access in the Americas in 1982 due to time zone differences and a lack of internet. Hopefully this time around the fans stay and the sport grows. The fear I have is that we may well lose some incredible purpose built tracks to mediocre temporary street circuits to maximise exposure and access.

        1. some racing fan
          16th April 2022, 9:19

          The only way to properly access the American market back then was to take it near to or in one of its biggest cities- i.e. places that were full of sophisticated people and immigrants from Europe or elsewhere.

          Long Beach was a success because the course was designed by and the race was managed by a British person who had a lot of exposure to and understood how European racing- particularly F1 works and how to advertise it (Chris Pook), it was just outside Los Angeles and the southern California weather right on the coast was as it always been consistently amazing. The US GP when it was at Watkins Glen was managed and organized by people who liked and had been exposed to Grand Prix racing even before it became F1 in 1950- and it was (and still is) one of the all-time great circuits of the world. That’s why the races at every other American venue were failures- because no one in the areas knew or cared about F1 racing, and Ecclestone left it up to the organizers- who lacked public support anyway to properly advertise and promote races there (which they never did). That’s why Sebring (isolated location and under-advertised event), Riverside (even more under-advertised event, that one was a real missed opportunity), Vegas (massive financial loss for Caesars, terrible idea for a circuit), Detroit (was a decent success, but had inadequate pit facilities and the drivers were outspoken about how bumpy the circuit was and much they hated it), Dallas (held at a really inappropriate time of year- Texas in July, unsafe circuit, total mess of a race), Phoenix (barely advertised, hardly anyone went to the ’91 race) and Indianapolis (money, F1 was owned by the wrong kind of people) all didn’t last.

          1. some racing fan
            16th April 2022, 9:20

            On top of that, no hardworking American wanted to get up at 5am Pacific or 8am Eastern time to watch an F1 GP in Europe, when there are other alternatives available, like NASCAR or CART IndyCar.

      2. @yaru I think one of the biggest hindrances to growth in European markets over the past 5-10 years has been the move towards PayTV. In some of the places where F1 had traditionally very strong audiences such as the UK, Germany, Italy & France I don’t think there is any live FTA offering anymore. And you have countries like Spain that saw an untick in interest thanks to Alonso’s success which has also now moved towards a PayTV model.

        I also think i’m right in thinking that F1’s growth in the US coincided with it moving to ESPN which I think made it available to more people than it had been for well over a decade.

        Would be interesting if somebody was able to put together the stats looking at how PayTV affected F1’s popularity in the various regions & if moves back towards Free TV or just greater availability helped see a rise.

        1. @roger-ayles you only have to look at official announcement on viewing figures for 2021, where the average viewing figures per race shows that there has been a marked drop in viewing figures over the last three years (from claimed figures of 91 million per race in 2019 to 70 million in 2022).

          It’s being hidden by the fact that the sport is giving viewing figures for the season as a whole though, where the lengthening of the calendar means cumulative views would suggest attendance is holding steady or rising slightly. Those cumulative viewing figures also hide the fact that the number of unique viewers is below pre-pandemic levels, and suggests there is still a long term decline – from 490 million in 2018 and 471 million in 2019, it went to 433 million in 2020 and 445 million in 2021.

          Even then, the figures for 2021 are influenced by the fact that the sport is basically relying on a strategy of throwing as many races at the wall as possible and hoping some of them stick. When you look at the number of unique viewers per race, that’s still declining – the cumulative total for 2021 only look slightly better than 2020 simply because of the sheer number of races.

          The sport noted that one of the major reasons for that was that Germany was being shifted to the option of pay-TV only, which saw a marked drop in viewing figures as a result. However, it is noticeable that the sport took a very different attitude in Brazil – there, their commercial director stated that “Brazil was a market that was too important from a size point of view for us to consider even a partial pay television”, although the decision was made to shift it to a much smaller free to air provider (on the basis that free to air provider was going to show more of the races live, whereas the previous provider showed only races in the Americas live).

          The attitude seems to be that, in “mature markets” – predominantly Europe – the sport is pushing for pay-TV deals because their attitude is that those pay-TV networks will put out more advertising for the sport, and that seems to be considered more important than increased accessibility via free to air options. Of course, pay-TV is often also prepared to pay a significant premium because, with the rise of online streaming services, exclusive rights to live sports events is often the only thing that those more traditional pay-TV companies have to distinguish their offerings from those rivals.

          However, outside of those markets, places like Brazil or India are seen as places where the sport needs to keep to free to air offerings – though that may be in part to keep the overall viewing figures up to make the sport look attractive to investors, and partially because they admit that, in those markets, average earnings are simply too low for a switch to pay-TV to be viable.

        2. To view F1 in UK you have to buy a very expensive package from Sky which includes lots of other channels. You can watch one race at a time through NowTv but that is expensive and very restrictive as it misses much of the build up and cool down.

          A dedicated F1 stand alone channel might draw more pay viewers if it were available and it would be cheaper I would think as all the other stuff, sports and entertainment, would not have to be paid for yet such a broadcaster would receive the same or more revenue for F1 productions. But Sky have a contract for years to come sadly.

          I suffer the pain of the enormous Sky subscription at the moment but if they keep increasing their prices now they are ‘US owned then I might well, sadly, reconsider.

      3. @yaru
        “Well F1 fanbase growth outside Europe is faster than that of inside Europe so it only makes sense to have more races outside Europe.”

        That’s a nonsensical statement. Just because the fanbase in Vatican grew by 800% (from 1 to 9 fans), doesn’t mean Vatican should hold an F1 GP over Brazil, where the fanbase decreased by 2% (from 32mln to 31mln).
        The fanbase in Europe is HUGE, therefore it has much less room for growth. Just because there’s a rising trend somewhere else doesn’t mean the fanbase there is big and even comparable to the one in Europe or South America.

        Secondly, what demographic is the fanbase? In Europe it’s, say, largely the middle class – people who can afford going to a grand prix. However in a Middle Eastern country – does the fanbase consist of a demographic who would ever to a race in the first place?

    4. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      16th April 2022, 8:24

      I’ve loved Formula One since I started following it in the 1970’s and I probably always will.

      This however is the side of it I really detest. Its been happening over a long period of time, but more and more its relentlessly becoming a money “junkie”. Prostituting itself for its next fix. The circuits and countries that have stayed with it through thick and thin are tossed aside for the next big “trip”.

      For a sporting World Championship, history should matter, geography should matter and the challenge and fairness should matter.

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        16th April 2022, 15:11

        Ecclestone insisted in racing in apartheid South Africa. It always has been like this. We must drop rose-tinted glasses.

        1. There is only one South Africa and there were 4 Middle Eastern races last year. You should apply more depth to your arguments, Jose.

          1. The Middle East isn’t one country either, amian.
            Each of the four races in that region last year were held in a different country.

            Culturally speaking, there’s about as much diversity in the Middle East as there is among F1’s European locations.
            After all, a country’s border is little more than a political definition.

        2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          18th April 2022, 16:58

          There’s no rose tint going on here. I said it has been happening over a long period of time. I remember when Ecclestone got involved and pushed F1 further in this direction. I’m not saying it was better in the ‘good old days’ far from it. F1 it better now in so many ways.

          I’m just saying it doesn’t have to be this way. Money shouldn’t be such a dominant factor affecting the location of the race.

    5. It seems mad to think that we’re talking about rotating the classic European venues year-on-year, yet everyone seems to accept that we’ll have up to four GPs at soulless desert tracks in head-chopping Middle Eastern dictatorships each year.

      If we are to rotate GPs on the calendar, there should be a “core” of classic Grands Prix that take place every year, and a “perimeter” of newer venues that rotate among themselves. The Middle Eastern and multiple US rounds would be among the perimeter, as would any new races that join the calendar. New deals could be negotiated on the basis that they will only get a Grand Prix every two years.

      1. That ‘core’ being:

        Monaco
        Monza
        Spa-Francorchamps
        Silverstone
        Suzuka
        Interlagos

        1. @f1frog Except any sane racing fan would scrub Monaco off that list. It’s a social event for the elites and super-rich, it’s not an F1 race.

          Legacy and heritage can’t disguise the fact that “racing” modern F1 cars around the streets of Monaco is a complete joke. When qualifying is the most exciting part of an F1 weekend, and when most of the field spends the first 1/3 of the race driving slowly so as to ensure a one-stopper, then you know something isn’t working.

          1. Except any sane racing fan would scrub Monaco off that list.

            @scbriml I don’t think that’s true as Monaco always comes up towards the top of every fan voted list of favourite circuits and/or races that should remain a part of the calendar.

            In the big fan survey F1 did last year for example it was voted the 4th most popular circuit with only Spa, Silverstone & Suzuka above it.

            I think those who want it gone are simply a very vocal minority as I don’t think i’ve ever seen any fan based poll or survey that has had Monaco outside of the top half of the list with it usually been well within the top 8. And that is true when asking about most popular venues and asking what races are seen as ‘crucial’ to the calendar.

            1. F1 asks F1 fans for opinions – mostly hardcore F1 fans respond.

              Ask casual/less dedicated viewers what they want and you’ll get different answers.
              Obviously, they won’t log on to F1 fansites to find these polls, though….

              You’d probably say that F1 shouldn’t listen to those people though, right? What they want isn’t really in the best interests of ‘the sport.’
              But only if they want something different, of course.

          2. I like monaco, it’s unusual, gives an incredible important to qualifying and race strategy, not ending in traffic etc., in other races you can usually recover if you end in traffic, in monaco it might be your race over.

            1. importance*

          3. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            18th April 2022, 17:01

            Most of the drivers love Monaco, but of course their sanity is questionable, wink wink.

    6. The challenge is the set of criteria used to select venues. Liberty is all over the place with this, juggling financial interest (like SA) with hobby horses (Like Vegas), legacies (Like Monaco) and politics (Like Silverstone). This company needs to develop a code of conduct or set of guidelines that proves they want to promote this sport and they will do it with some integrity, balancing the interests of various stakeholders. Based on this code they can develop a framework for these (but also others… like having drs) decisions.

    7. Europe was in a much worse state in F1 2013. There was no France, Austria, Imola or Netherlands, with only Germany having dropped off since. There were only 7 European races that year.

    8. Take all the dictatorships of the calendar and there is plenty of space.

      1. Agree entirely.

        I reject the statements by the powers that be in F1 that it is a force for good in encouraging these countries to clean up their act. These countries know that having big ticket sporting events provides a veneer of legitimacy to their regime. Rather than encouraging them to clean up their act, these countries know that they don’t have to do anything more to win the approval of the free world.

        Having a Russian Grand Prix hasn’t improved things in Russia.

        There should be criteria that applies to countries wanting to host races that requires them to introduce and uphold things like human rights protection, anti-corruption, free and democratic elections etc. If you fail to meet the standard, you don’t get your race. If standards slip, you are breaching your contract and your race is suspended.

        At the moment, all that seems to matter is money.

        1. These countries know that having big ticket sporting events provides a veneer of legitimacy to their regime.

          Do you feel better about any country just because they pay lots of money to host an F1 event, @davids?
          I don’t know anyone who does. I just keep hearing about all these mythical people who apparently do believe it.

          It’s just a ‘sporting’ (actually, marketing) event that goes strictly where there is sufficient financial incentive to do so.

    9. I didn’t think Monaco GP was hugely under threat even before Michel Boeri’s words came out & less so since, so either French or Belgian GP will have to make way for next season.
      Not much for Ocon to do.
      If Paul Ricard loses out (which seems more likely than Spa), he’d merely have to accept this fate.
      I’m surprised anyone even theoretically thought about Qatar as a Russian GP replacement even though the Middle East is well-knowingly too hot for outdoor activities throughout September.
      Timing for the race would be entirely irrelevant as even evenings are hot, not to mention, people would have to be on trackside in the daytime anyway. Qatar was unrealistic from the get-go.
      Not only for unbearable climatic conditions but also for the World Cup, as otherwise, this year wouldn’t have got chosen as a hiatus in the first place.
      The rotation thing, as noted before, is less economically viable than holding annually, albeit not impossible for permanent tracks, or at least not for all.

    10. Australia – Seem to have a great atmosphere and a perfect start for a season but I rather drop albert park than Spa
      Bahrain – Has enough money to stay on
      Saudi Arabia – One of the worst countries to hold a race but I want to see how the new track pans out and is it as dangerous as Jeddah
      Imola – One of the classics. Money will be the issue
      Miami – If americans are interested in it it could have a chance
      Barcelona – After the Alonsohype I can see this having the same story to germany. Schumacher wore out the german fans and even though Vettel was winning fans didn’t attend the races as much as earlier.
      Monaco – “The Wimbledon” “The Indy 500” “The le mans 24h”
      Baku – Great track but that’s the only thing it brings to the calendar
      Montreal – As long as F1 is interested in north america it will probably stay
      Red Bull Ring – As long as Red Bull is in F1 it will stay
      Paul Ricard – Theo Pourchaire could save this one?
      Budapest – How is this still on the calendar? It is close to the city and has a quite unique layout. I don’t know should it stay or not
      Zandvoort – As long as Max is racing it will stay
      Spa – It’s third on the list behind Monaco and Silverstone.
      Monza – 4th on that list
      Singapore – Isn’t as special as it was. Still a great track
      Suzuka – 5th on the list which need to stay
      Austin – Great track but there are many other race tracks in America and maybe in the future they will built a replacemant for this.
      Mexico – What will happen after Checo retires?
      Interlagos – 6th on the list
      Abu Dhabi – Is here to stay even though it isn’t that great

      1. @qeki Good notes on each location, but concerning Paul Ricard, I doubt Pouchaire could save that any more than Ocon or Gasly, not to mention, him racing in F1 next season is far from a given.

      2. some racing fan
        18th April 2022, 8:19

        Australia – Great atmosphere, good track, great place to start the season, important market but I wish this was the last round
        Bahrain – Has money, should use outer circuit and alternate with Qatar
        Saudi Arabia – The worst Grand Prix of the year- has almost no redeeming qualities. Most dangerous track of the year, held in a totalitarian country with appalling medieval laws engaged in a war with Yemen that threaten the team personnel’s safety. They pay the most amount of money, only reason why they are on the calendar
        Imola – Great circuit, great atmosphere, however this should go and make room for another European race
        Miami – This should be the first race of next season. Will be a smashing success, I don’t think anyone quite realizes how successful this race is going to be
        Barcelona – Good track for testing, but one of the worst circuits for racing (because of the amount of testing done there); even though its near a major European city it should be replaced with Aragon and possibly alternate with Portimao. Attendance will still be good even if Sainz is more successful than he has been.
        Monaco – Most prestigious race of the year and probably the hardest track to drive of the year; 50 years out of date but is always a unique event
        Baku – Great track made for TV, hardly any grandstands anywhere
        Montreal – Probably the most prestigious North American race thanks to its history, located in one of the most important markets in the world (northeastern US/eastern Canada)
        Silverstone- after Monaco tied with Monza as the most important race of the year because England is the home of high-tech motorsports and is home to most of the teams
        Red Bull Ring – As long as Red Bull is in F1, this will stay. Very nice and very fast track but might need extension
        Paul Ricard – F1 layout is super boring, if this goes no one will miss it much. If it will have a future, then they should take out the chicanes on the straight
        Budapest – Interesting track but should alternate with Turkey. Only former Eastern bloc circuit on the calendar
        Zandvoort – As long as Max is in F1, this won’t go anywhere.
        Spa – Probably the best circuit on the calendar and certainly the most visually spectacular. If Spa goes this will be an enormous mistake
        Monza – Tied with Silverstone as most important race of the year behind Monaco. Probably has the best atmosphere on the calendar, and is just outside Milan
        Singapore – Spectacular event in the most appropriate location in southeast Asian market.
        Suzuka – Japan is one of the non-European countries F1 has to be in, and Suzuka is one of the best tracks on the F1 calendar, maybe the world
        Austin – Great track in important, growing market; however track is built on geologically active surface which could affect its future
        Mexico – Important race in a huge, cosmopolitian city- it’s the only race in Central America and it would be a success even if Perez wasn’t in F1, his presence in a competitive car certainly helps.
        Interlagos – Another important race, only race in South America in its most developed city; there should be a second F1 GP in Argentina
        Abu Dhabi – The track has improved a lot but not the best location.

        Other future/potential races?

        Las Vegas: This might be a pie-in-the-sky, hopefully not.
        New York: Maybe the New Jersey plan could be revived?
        South Africa: This needs to come back to Kyalami if the money is there, only continent F1 isn’t on.
        Qatar: Losail is a nice circuit that has grown on me; if F1 wants to continue racing in Qatar they should alternate with Bahrain and race at Losail, not on a street circuit
        China: Shanghai’s a decent location for a Chinese race but Zhuhai near Hong Kong and Macau would be better. Still not a fan of any F1 race in China
        Second Chinese race: Totally opposed to the idea of having a second Chinese race; complete waste of time, money and effort, even with Zhou’s presence there

        1. some racing fan
          18th April 2022, 8:20

          *a second South American GP in Argentina

          1. some racing fan
            18th April 2022, 8:21

            *Interlagos is also a great track, one of the best on the calendar

    11. I see this rotation idea come up a lot but was that sort of arrangement not what ultimately led to both Hockenheim & Nurburgring falling off the calendar as both circuits lost revenue by skipping a year & found it more difficult to promote & garner interest/excitement in holding races only every 2 years.

      Maybe i’m wrong on that but i’m sure I remember the promoter of one of those races raising it as something they felt had hurt them.

      1. @roger-ayles True. Circuits inevitably get less income from hosting every other year versus annually (hence why such a format is definitely a no-go for temporary circuits), so less economically viable.

    12. Stop hurting my eyes with those 2009-2021 cars. F1 is back.

      1. F1 is back.

        Is it? Where can I find it?

        Oh… You mean….this?
        This is little more than a spec series.

        1. SS here does not recall when the grid had customer cars or when most of the grid was dfv cosworth powered and every competitive car was on goodyear.

          1. I certainly do, and that’s exactly how I know there was far more technical diversity then.
            The rules don’t even allow it now.

    13. The number of Middle Eastern races being held purely because of big monied interests could be cut back. At least races in the states will have huge fan turnouts and be an “event”. These ones in the middle of a flat desert with a handful of spectators just look crap and have no atmosphere. The fact they’re being used as PR tools for dubious at best regimes sullies them even further.

      We need to keep F1 a global sport and get into Africa and South America more. Make it truly international in big cities.

    14. “Money talks” — Lewis Hamilton

    15. In my opinion, here are some current races that can be binned:
      Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Paul Ricard, Singapore, Mexico, and Abu Dhabi.
      Also Miami and Las Vegas are already unnecessary, so into the bin they go. No need to go to China again, or Russia, or Turkey.
      Maybe Monza and Imola can go year about.
      Thirteen races might not be auspicious, so lets have a new “one off” race every year just to spice things up (Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, etc.).
      Less races in a season makes each race more important, and therefore more watchable.
      23 races a year is ridiculous. 14 races is about right.
      Greed will win over quality, unfortunately, but one can dream.

    16. There are too many races as is and with more races being added to an already crowded calendar, keeping interest in the championship throughout the year becomes a challenge. I don’t mind a less euro-centric f1 calendar but I take issue of the super-long season. 20 races should be the limit and venues should alternate year in and year out to give opportunities to other places that used to be iconic and are no longer in place with newer places that can pay the fee. A compromise if you will for the benefit of the show and consideration to the staff who need to leave their families home more and more these days.

    17. I have commented many times that I think 20 or so should be the maximum number of races in my opinion. However, I am sensible enough to realise this is just not going to happen with Liberty in charge.

      My main points are:
      1. Why should Classic or European races have to rotate when F1 can easily accommodate countries willing to pay big money and those with poor human rights records.
      2. Remove those said countries from the calendar or don’t add any more e.g. Saudi, Russia, Bahrain, China, Qatar.
      3. I am happy with three races in the U.S. but that really should be the limit.
      4. I think Europe has 10 races on the calendar. Even I’m prepared to admit that in a crowded calendar this may be one or two, too many. But make any decisions on the quality of the circuit, it’s historic significance and attendance. Not just on which country it’s in.

    18. Talk of cutting Monaco when the championship leader is Monegasque?

      1. True, strange.

    19. Excellent article, Claire.

      As a F1 fan of nearly 60 years and an American, I’m really happy about a third race in the States. Where Vegas is concerned, I attended the last race held there in 1982 (and a couple at Long Beach).

      There’s nothing wrong with making a profit, but greed has been the downfall of tycoons and empires. Balance and perspective is key.

      To drop circuits like Monza, Monaco and especially Spa, would be akin to Formula 1 throwing its DNA out with the bath water.

      Do we really need four races in the Middle East? Even with all the money, I don’t think so.

      I would love to have a fourth race in the States or perhaps South Africa, but not at the expense of having F1 sell its soul to make it happen.

      Are you listening, Liberty?

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