F1 ready to drop current races to make way for new grands prix

F1 executives are facing a growing number of requests to host races from new locations as Qatar and Las Vegas are set to become permanent from next year.

This is because Grand Prix racing is rapidly approaching the maximum number of races of 25 allowed under the terms of the Concorde Agreement.

But while there is room for expansion at the moment without giving up any of the current Grands Prix, F1 CEO Domenicali believes some existing stadiums will have to make way.

This may mean that they are completely excluded from the calendar or appear only on a rotational basis with other venues.

Asked if the new additions to the F1 calendar have prompted consideration of replacing some races, Domenicali told select media outlets, including Italian website, in Bahrain: “The process has actually already begun.

“There are some promoters that are running out of deals and it is likely that some of the current Grands Prix will no longer be part of the calendar. Others will remain, but in a different form, such as when switching between different tracks.

“Our selection will be announced soon and new Grand Prix can be expected. However, it is still not so easy to plan everything in advance.

“If we take China, for example, we will have to try to understand what the COVID situation will be like in the future, as we did last year with 2022 in mind.”

While some current venues have long-term contracts (Bahrain recently announced a new deal through 2036), others are still under discussion.

It is understood that France, Monaco, Belgium and Mexico have yet to strike deals after the end of this year.

French Grand Prix - among races with an uncertain future

French Grand Prix – among races with an uncertain future

Photo: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

The future of the French Grand Prix is ​​the most uncertain, despite recent encouraging words of support from French President Emmanuel Macron, while Domenicali suggests that traditional venues such as Monaco and Spa cannot secure their places.

“We know we have to balance the arrival of new races with historic Grands Prix and circuits that must remain part of our calendar,” he said.

“The influx of proposals from new promoters has an advantage for the F1 platform, and this forces the organizers of traditional Grand Prix to raise the level of quality in terms of what they offer to the public, as well as the infrastructure and management of the event. .

“It is not enough to have a pedigree. You also have to demonstrate that you are not falling behind.”

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While the shuffling of the calendar could see some countries lose their only Grand Prix, Domenicali sees no problem with the potential for three Grands Prix in the United States, with Las Vegas joining Miami and Austin with next year.

“The interest that Formula 1 is generating in the US today has never been seen before,” he said.

“It would be wrong of us not to take advantage of this opportunity, and we are trying to figure out how to deal with this growth.

“There is also great interest in the Far East. The arrival of Guanyu Zhou in Formula 1 attracts attention and does not surprise us.

“Besides Ferrari, after all, it is the drivers who are driving the growth of interest in this sport in their countries. We have seen this in Brazil, in Spain and there are many other examples.

“We have received new requests from China to host a Grand Prix, and Zhou has yet to host his first race.”

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