Apr.9 - Formula 1 drivers are worried that the sport's expansion into new and lucrative markets will result in some of the most historic venues falling off the calendar.

F1 will travel to an unprecedented 23 circuits this year including Miami, with another exciting US race scheduled to race down Las Vegas' fabled 'strip' from 2023.

At the same time, rumours are swirling in the paddock that F1's expansion could be at the expense of Paul Ricard and even the fabled Spa-Francorchamps and Monaco.

"I mean, these are the right things to do from a business side of things," Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll said in Melbourne.

"But it will definitely will be a shame to see maybe some very traditional tracks that are great to drive, that we've been going to for a long time, being under threat and potentially disappearing."

Frenchman Esteban Ocon vowed to do "everything I can to be vocal" about trying to keep Paul Ricard on the calendar.

"I don't know what the situation is exactly but I'm not happy to hear that it's under threat at the moment," said the Alpine driver.

"I think we all have the same opinion - drivers, teams and probably Formula 1 as well," Ocon added.

One suggestion doing the rounds is that F1's future calendar will have a core group of prestigious permanent rounds, and then other race dates that are rotated between other hosts annually.

"Hopefully for the future we can find a compromise," Ferrari's Carlos Sainz said. "Then we keep coming back to the places we've always been to.

"Business is business," the Spaniard added, "and Liberty and Formula 1 will do what they have to do.

"But Europe is where our heritage is and I think we need to keep coming back, even if it's not every single year."

Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer said on Saturday: "I do think we need to strike a good balance between tradition and where the sport started.

"But I think F1 will do that job, do it well, and I think we'll have a good balance in the end."


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31 F1 Fan comments on “F1 drivers worried about losing iconic races next season

    • Jax

      They can axe Monaco. It may be iconic but relatively boring. If Vegas turns out well, then good replacement. But Spa is and should remain untouchable!
      So long as the host country is willing to maintain it, then drivers must have collective input in any final decision to scrap a track. And fans feedback should also be acknowledged.

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    • smokey

      In reality, if the races were scheduled in a logical way, then 30+ races per year would be achievable. I mean, look at the disjointed way the circus travels around the world: Australia to Italy, Italy to USA, USA back to Spain, Brazil to Abu Dhabi (back to the Middle East again). If you look at the calendar it is the most illogical sequence of events! Why not divide the races into continents and save the excessive travel expenses. ie. European races, American continent races, Middle East races, Asia and Pacific races. Dispose of the current method of visiting the same areas more than one time.
      Get rid of Monaco. That will save the teams lots of money, as they have to build a car especially for Monaco's tight and slow streets.

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      • ReallyOldRacer

        Smokey, last winter I actually posted on this site a geo-centric schedule. Took me, I think, about two hrs to devise it., considering weather, other important local events, etc.. You are correct, it would save millions AND be more eco friendly.

        Re Monaco, teams do not build a track specific car. They do heavily modify the front suspension to allow a tighter turning radius, but that is no more expensive than the unique changes they make for several tracks.

        I don't really understand why people advocate binning the most popular and widely watched F1 race of the season. Check tv ratings for Monaco.

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  1. David Gladwin

    "Lucrative" is the relevant word. New circuits = new bums on seats = lots more money for the car owners = more money for the drivers. It's a bit 'crocodile tears' for the nay-sayers to bleat on when they negotiate more wages year on year.

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  2. Nobodysperfect

    If I was Latifi, I would worry about losing my race seat... Didn't he now crash that Williams for the fourth time in 4 F1 events?

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  3. Susan

    Monaco is iconic for sure. However, w ith the new cars getting larger and will be interested to see how they get through some of the narrow turns. Time will tell.
    I can’t see Rosberg driving for Wlliams. Major come down after driving for Mercedes.

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      Susan, the Nico to Williams post was a April Fools guffaw. As for trashing Monaco, won't happen in the short term. Can you say "100 years of heritage"?

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  4. Rick

    Paul Ricard & Monaco could be dropped with ease both races are boring as sin But in the end, it's all about the money Liberty & F1 don't give a f### about what the fans want.

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  5. who_cares

    there should be a british, italian and german gp every year because of history and manufacturer home countries

    spa every year because it's pretty central, history and the fact its the best racetrack

    so what f1 should do is have silverstone, monza, austria & spa every year

    alternate years for
    hockenhiem/nurburg
    paul ricard/monaco (not a fan of either but it seems fair for alpine)
    imola/portamao

    what f1 will do is whore itself out to the highest bidder

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    • Nobodysperfect

      Indeed Spa just has to be mandatory and if you ask me the Nordschleife as the best track in the world, also should be on the calendar. F*ck all those artifical tracks and stick to proper old school tracks. Ecclestone the master off making money already tried to earn more money by racing at the promised land at Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Indianpolis, Phoenix and New York (Watkins Glen) last century and couldn't make it stick. Please don't make the same stupid mistakes again. US people like Nascar and other dramatic shit, just keep up proper racing please!!!

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      • ReallyOldRacer

        Completely agree except for the inclusion of the glen in your rant. As for the US being the promised land, most of us would prefer you stay where you are and stay the hell out.

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  6. ReallyOldRacer

    "another exciting US race scheduled to race down Las Vegas' fabled 'strip' from 2023."

    Were you people even alive in the 80's? Exciting was not an adjective used to describe the races in Vegas. Laughable maybe, but not exciting.

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  7. smokey

    When F1 kicked off in the new era in the 1950's it was a sport played by wealthy gentlemen. This format continued into the 1960's. Then when Bernie acquired control of F1 it ceased to be a sport and became a business. Now it is a business controlled by an organisation that has little if no respect for the wishes of the die-hard fans, and it's sole purpose is to overflow the bank accounts of their management.
    I remember the last Las Vegas Grand Prix, I think it was won by Alan Jones, and it was a Mickey Mouse car park circuit that not one driver had a good word for ~ hence it didn't survive.
    As another commentator said ~ Americans are more interested in speedway racing, both on dirt and on tar. They see grand prix racing as something from Europe and aren't really interested.

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    • shroppyfly

      But with Evil Bernie at the Helm , the teams got rich, people forget that bit.......! and Bernie cwas at least was a team owner in F1, people forget so easily

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      • smokey

        No, we couldn't forget how Bernie bought then destroyed the name of Brabham, or Motor Racing Developments as it was called.
        I would argue that only certain teams in favor with Bernie got rich, not across the board!

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        • shroppyfly

          For every buyer , there is a seller, and whilst not defending everything Bernie did under 15yr years of ownership , the team did win the wdc twice under BE, who got rich and who didnt , well that we can argue over, but if it hadnt been BE who took over f1, what would the sport look like now?
          And the team/people he sold it to,3yrs and bust, however BE ran the team they managed 15yrs.

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        • ReallyOldRacer

          history, smokey, history.....when Bernie negotiated the tv rights for F! he offered a 10% share to every team to make F1 a democratic entity. They all refused the offer. So he did it his way and got very rich.

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  8. Michael

    It's strange to see the US pick up a second and third race. ESPN currently covers the races on TV and they do sh_t job of it. We didn't get the end of qualifying in Australia because late crash in Q3. The race itself is constantly interrupted with a barrage of commercials cutting in on the commentary mid-sentence. There is no real commitment by the media to cover races properly. Yet there is a hard-core group of fans that eat live and breathe F1 in the US despite the miserably produced broadcasts. Yeah, there are a lot of hillbilly NASCAR fans. I'm not one of them. I gave up CART races when they didn't show the championship race when there were 12 drivers in contention (quite a while ago.) I am not giving up F1.

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  9. Randy

    It is all kind of funny, Monaco vs Paul Richard. Those 2 tracks are located within ~2 hours of each other. (Yet there is complaining about 3 races in the USA... I digress there).

    There are a lot of classic tracks F1 *should* go to... but you can't fit them in to a reasonable calendar. I like the growing sense of Core Races + Rotations.

    I think there are probably 8-10 races that should occur yearly (British, Monaco, Monza, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Austria, Canada all come to mind as "untouchable").

    Maybe also say ... the country that 'wins' the Constructor and Driver's Championship can each get a GP (or if they already have a GP, they can get a 2nd one, as long as they have a Grade 1 circuit, no double dipping on the same track).

    Then, you can have some rotations for the remaining 10-12 races, where circuits alternate on 2 or 3 year cycles (e.g. Spain / Portugal, Turkey / Hungary, France / Germany, Spa / Zanvoort, etc... really just making comparisons).

    AND, for tracks on a rotation, allow them to "sell" their date to raise funds for improvements. E.g. if Portimão is on the schedule and needs to raise money, they could 'sell' their 2023 date to XXX track and not see another race until their turn comes back in 2025... or they buy their way onto the 2024 calendar. Maybe limit it to say, a track can only sell 1 date in an 8 year period and that F1 (Teams + Liberty) get a 30% cut of the sale.

    New tracks are fun... but we need classics, too.

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