London, LA, New York, Miami, Copenhagen? F1’s new owners Liberty Media are keen to expand the F1 calendar, but where exactly will we be heading in the coming years? In this new series, we will provide the latest news updates (and rumors) on the future Formula 1 calendar.
The 2018 Formula 1 calendar will be the joint longest in history, with 21 races held over 8 months. The French and German Grands Prix are back in 2018, whilst Malaysia departs after 19 years. Liberty have stated their intention to expand the calendar to as many as 25 races in the near future, with more stateside and destination (city center) races a definite priority. Here’s our roundup of F1 calendar news from December 2017.
NBC Sports quotes Ross Brawn on F1’s historic triple header this year, when three races will be held on back-to-back weekends for the first time (the French GP on June 24, Austrian GP on July 1 and British GP on July 8): “The World Cup presented us with a very unusual problem. The final is in the afternoon and it would have been very unfair to have run a race on that weekend,” Brawn said, referring to the July 15 weekend when the FIFA World Cup final will be held in Russia. “We could only solve that by having three races in a row, but it’s not something we want to repeat in the future. It was an emergency measure.”
The Financial Times says that F1 has peaked in both Asia and in emerging markets, citing examples such as the loss of the Malaysian Grand Prix this year and poor attendances at new races such as in Azerbaijan. The article quotes Sean Bratches, F1’s managing director for commercial operations, who says that the US marketplace is “ready to be detonated” and that Liberty Media sees a strong future for F1 in European “heritage races like Monza, Spa and Silverstone.”
The Miami Herald reports that F1 representatives recently met with city officials to discuss the potential for a race on the streets of downtown Miami as early as 2020. The city has been hosting various street racing since 1983, including a one-off Formula E street race in 2015. Miami joins Long Beach, Las Vegas and New York as potential new F1 host cities in the USA.
Motorsport.com reported Hamilton as saying, ‘Honestly, I don’t like it, just to be straight with you. I loved it when we used to have the grand prix in Magny-Cours. [Paul Ricard] is in a beautiful place, but the track, when I say I don’t like it, it’s not as great as Magny-Cours. I think the most important thing is that we do have a grand prix back in France because it’s an important part of Europe, it’s an important part of the European tour. It’s just, you know, France has so many beautiful, beautiful circuits – Le Mans, for example – and for some reason we don’t have it at the most beautiful track.’ The French Grand Prix will be held at Paul Ricard on June 22-24, 2018 (Read our new guide)
The Checkered Flag says that Formula 1 are in discussions with Copenhagen city officials (not the Mayor yet) about bringing a street race to the capital of Denmark by 2020. A circuit has already been designed by ex-Formula One driver, Jan Magnussen (father of Haas driver Kevin) and Hermann Tilke, but the city will need to raise an estimated $300m USD and get the mayor onside to make the race a reality.
The rise of Max Verstappen and subsequent popularity boost for F1 in the Netherlands has seen renewed calls for the return of the Dutch Grand Prix, which was last held on the Zandvoort circuit in 1985. Most articles to date have focused on the chances of Zandvoort making a return, but F1i.com reports that the boss of the Assen circuit has also thrown his hat in the ring. “We are almost 100 per cent ready for Formula 1,” Arjan Bos told De Telegraaf newspaper. “Of course, I wish Zandvoort every success, and I think it’s admirable how (Zandvoort owner) Bernhard van Oranje is sticking his neck out. But Assen is well beyond Zandvoort.”