As construction work continues at Zandvoort, F1 looks set to become carbon neutral over the next decade and Spain aims to extend its tenure on the calendar beyond 2020. Here’s a round up of all the F1 calendar news from November 2019!
Zandvoort construction work continues
Construction work has continued at Zandvoort in preparation for next year’s Dutch Grand Prix. In October, it was reported that work on Zandvoort for the 2020 event was “on schedule”. This month, the contractor has revealed a virtual render of the track layout for next year. Video of the track released by F1 shows the banked section of the track, which will be twice as steep as the banking at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Meanwhile, Zandvoort spokesman Jan Lammers has said that he is “proud” of the work at the circuit, and their success in fending off protests from environmental groups. Lammers also added that the event “will become the most sustainable race on the Formula 1 calendar.”
Miami race thrown lifeline
Formula 1’s plans for a race in Miami were met with fierce opposition in October. Chase Carey noted that F1 was still engaged with the Miami project, but acknowledged the event’s “clear hurdles”. But one major hurdle was overcome thanks to the mayor of Miami-Dade County. One legislation, which would have banned the use of public roads for high-speed racing, was vetoed by the mayor.
However, Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein told ESPN that it “seems very off brand of them [Formula 1] to have a parking-lot race” adding that the Miami event would likely damage the brand in America.
In other stateside news, not everyone was happy with the strong United States Grand Prix ticket sales. Eddie Gossage, president of the Texas Motor Speedway said it was “an absolute insult, lack of respect, lack of professionalism” that F1 raced on the same weekend that the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 in Fort Worth was run. Elsewhere, Roger Penske, new owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has said that the circuit will evaluate a potential return to hosting Formula 1.
The future of the Spanish Grand Prix
During November, Chase Carey claimed that Formula 1 has had interest from a multitude of countries in hosting future Grands Prix. Carey said that Liberty Media will “selectively probably end up dropping races”.
One event hoping not to be dropped is the Spanish Grand Prix, which was handed a one-year reprieve for 2020. A spokesperson for Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya told Spanish reporters that they will begin to attempt negotiating a new deal after the 2019 season ends.
Another of this month’s rumours was that the Spanish Grand Prix could be heading back to Jerez. The Spanish circuit last hosted an F1 race in 1997, when Michael Schumacher famously collided with title rival Jacques Villeneuve at the European Grand Prix. Though F1 testing has taken place at the track as recently as 2015, Jerez last hosted the Spanish Grand Prix in 1990. Spanish press claim that the circuit is negotiating a three-year deal to host the event from 2021 to 2023.
F1's carbon neutral journey
Formula 1 faces an interesting journey over the next ten years, as plans to make the sport carbon neutral by 2030 were announced last month. A report by Formula 1 revealed that the actual racing accounts for only 0.7% of their overall carbon footprint. It’s the logistics and travel of individuals which takes up a massive 73% of the footprint. Given that the calendar will expand by potentially 3 races to 25 rounds from 2021 onwards, it makes the sustainability program even more ambitious.
It is planned that by 2025, all events will be sustainable, with the “use of sustainable materials at all events with single-use plastics being eliminated and all waste reused, recycled or composted”. While by 2030, there will be “ultra-efficient & low/zero carbon logistics & travel”. Read more about F1’s current logistics set up here.