As the Australian Grand Prix signs a long-term contract extension, South Africa looks set to join the calendar as soon as 2023 and Monaco remains yet to secure a deal for future seasons. Here’s a round-up of all the latest Formula 1 calendar news.
South Africa in contention to join F1 calendar next year
South Africa could re-join the Formula 1 calendar as soon as next year according to recent reports. Next year will mark 30 years since the South African Grand Prix was last held at Kyalami in 1993. Kyalami is the circuit in line to host the return of F1 to the country. If the race is not held next year, it is likely to return in 2024.
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali travelled to South Africa after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to hold further talks on the comeback of the race. Dieter Rencken reports that no deal has been agreed upon yet, but talks were “both positive and very productive”. Further news on the situation is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
2023’s F1 calendar could be grouped by region
In an attempt to be more environmentally and economically friendly, the Formula 1 calendar will be given a facelift in 2023. Races will be grouped together by region as F1 takes steps to meet its mandate to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Autosport report that the Azerbaijan Grand Prix could move to later in the season and be grouped with races in Singapore, China and Japan. Meanwhile, the Miami and Canadian Grands Prix are likely to be grouped together to avoid an unnecessary additional transatlantic journey.
The plans, which were revealed in a meeting between the teams and Stefano Domenicali over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, have received backing from F1 team bosses.
Australian Grand Prix signs contract extension
Formula 1 has signed a new deal with Australian Grand Prix organisers, keeping the Albert Park race on the calendar until at least 2035. The future of the event was already secure until 2025 thanks to a previous contract extension signed in July 2019.
Under the new deal, further improvements will be made to the trackside experience. It was also announced that Formula 2 and Formula 3 will race at the Albert Park track from 2023 onwards. Australia is also in line to host the season-opening Grand Prix in at least five of the next thirteen seasons. Bahrain is expected to remain as the first race of the year next season, with Australia taking the honour in both 2024 and 2025.
Monaco yet to sign new contract for 2023
We may have witnessed the final running of the Monaco Grand Prix. The 2022 race, won by Sergio Perez, was the last race in the current contract. Race organisers are yet to secure a deal beyond the end of this year.
Monaco currently pays the lowest hosting fee of any race on the calendar and this is believed to be one of the major sticking points in agreeing a new contract. Other issues include trackside advertising of non-F1 approved brands and Monaco’s unique production of its own TV coverage for the race weekend. Formula One Management (FOM) produce coverage of races at every other round of the season and the lack of coherent coverage in Monte Carlo has been noted regularly by fans in recent years.
2023 Belgian Grand Prix still not confirmed
Monaco isn’t the only historic event with its position on the calendar in increasing doubt. The Belgian Grand Prix is not guaranteed its slot on the schedule after 2022. Race organisers are hopeful that recent upgrades at the iconic track will see a new deal signed to keep Spa-Francorchamps on the calendar in 2023.
However, if you take into account all of 2022’s 22 races, including the four yet to sign for next year, plus Las Vegas, the returning Chinese and Qatar Grands Prix and the rumoured South African Grand Prix, that would take F1’s calendar to 26 rounds – which is not allowed under the current regulations. With a maximum of 24 slots on the calendar available, at least two races will not take place next year, with Belgium and France the most likely to lose their positions.
French Grand Prix could alternate with other races on future calendars
Talking of the French Grand Prix, the event may alternate with other races on the Formula 1 calendar in upcoming seasons. Eric Bouiller, Managing Director at Circuit Paul Ricard, met with F1 bosses over the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. In the meeting, the idea of the French Grand Prix alternating with other European venues on a two or three year rotation was discussed. Bouiller described the meeting as positive, adding that F1 “want the French Grand Prix to stay on the calendar”.
French driver Pierre Gasly admits that the uncertain future of his home event is a “big concern” but says he’s “quite confident” a new agreement will be reached. Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon has had a grandstand named after him for the 2022 French Grand Prix. Tickets for the grandstand have already sold out.
Elsewhere, Stefano Domenicali has suggested that F1 could move the French Grand Prix to a street circuit in Nice. Nice was host to what was arguably the first Formula 1 race in 1946. Whether this is a genuine proposition or merely a bargaining chip in negotiations with Monaco Grand Prix organisers remains to be seen.
Other F1 calendar news in brief:
- Green Day, Westlife and Marshmello are the first headline acts to be announced for the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix. The Marina Bay Street Circuit race returns on September 30 – October 2 after a two-season absence from the calendar.
- The schedule for the 2022 British Grand Prix weekend has been revealed. Formula 2, Formula 3, W Series and Porsche Supercup will all be in action and there’ll be on track parade laps by historic British Formula 1 cars.
- Last month, Formula 1 announced that it would not fill the slot vacated by the Russian Grand Prix on the 2022 calendar. Formula 2 has announced that, as a result of its Sochi round being cancelled, the series will be on the support bill at the French Grand Prix in July.
- The Spanish Grand Prix in May had its highest race day attendance since 2008. However, the larger crowd numbers led to a number of organisational issues over the weekend.
- Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says not every race on the calendar needs to follow the Miami Grand Prix’s approach. Talking about the difference between F1’s two American venues, Steiner said: “If you compare Austin to Miami, there is a lot of people in both of them, but they are completely different events in how they are structured.”
- Formula 1 has allegedly rejected a potential venue for a New York Grand Prix. The land was offered by the New York mayor and is located on the Randalls and Wards Islands. Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has said that the location is “probably not our perfect venue”.
- The Japanese Grand Prix is the only 2022 race for which tickets are not yet on sale. Tickets are expected to finally be available from July 24. Check out our Suzuka travel guide to start planning your trip.