Formula 1 calendar news roundup: March 2018

The regional F1 calendar breakup is on hold as Miami and Hanoi emerge as clear favorites to join the calendar as early as 2019. Welcome to our monthly roundup of F1 calendar news and rumors for March 2018!

Arguably the biggest news of the month came when F1’s new owners put the Regional break-up of F1 calendar put on hold, as reported by Liberty Media have previously floated the idea of grouping races into regional clusters to boost the sport’s popularity and reduce costs, with the ideal scenario seeing the F1 season start in Europe, shift to the Americas and finish in Asia. However, existing contractual issues mean that such a move is unlikely to happen in the near future. The same article also quoted F1 boss Chase Carey on the future direction of the F1 calendar:

“We don’t have a target number of races. We certainly could add races…but I think our real focus is to ensure quality over quantity. We have the capacity and the rights to add races, and can ultimately go to 25. But I think our focus at this point is getting the races to be what they should be, and really all the components behind it. It’s not just the race, but it’s the hospitality, local partnerships, the event itself, the cities that support it, the public support to engage, and I think we’ll continue to evolve those opportunities as we deal with renewals.”

USA, Argentina, Vietnam?

Several articles last month highlighted the strong prospects for new races in the USA, Vietnam and Argentina, possibly as soon as 2019. The main sources was the reliable German publication Auto, Motor und Sport, which says that “negotiations between FOM and the promoters of the planned street races in Florida and Vietnam are expected to reach a positive conclusion,” and that “Argentina is pressing on with its plans to return the country to the F1 calendar in the future, with the historical Autodromo Juan y Oscar Gálvez in Buenos Aires chosen as the venue.” Read more in English: /
FIA President Jean Todt also supports the planned races in Argentina and Vietnam: “I would love to see a race in Argentina, as the country is very special in motorsport with Fangio and Reutemann; they are heroes of motor racing in Argentina. Vietnam, I would be happy to have a new race in Asia, it is a developing country and to bring Formula 1 to developing countries would be very good. If we can put it all together then why not?”

Silverstone has a bright future

Formula 1 Sporting Director Ross Brawn remains “very optimistic” about the future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, despite the circuit’s owner activating a break clause last year to stop hosting the event after 2019. The decision was related to the rising annual hosting fees payable to Formula 1, and subsequent inability to turn a profit on the event, despite large attendances. “I think Silverstone has a really bright future as part of Formula 1. We’ve obviously got the topic of the race coming up, but we’re very optimistic we’ll find the correct solution between ourselves and the circuit for the future,” Brawn told BBC Look East.

Danish Grand Prix?

The prospects for a new race in the Danish capital of Copenhagen was dealt a blow by the deputy mayor for Copenhagen’s technical and environment department, Ninna Hedeager Olsen, who told Politiken newspaper that “the organization of an event like Formula 1 is so extensive and requires so many resources that it is completely unrealistic for Copenhagen by 2020.” Meanwhile, the chances of F1 returning to Zandvoort in Holland are fading, according to the circuit’s owner, Bernhard van Oranje: “We are talking to Liberty Media, but the chance that it succeeds is not that great. Many countries are willing to pay any price for Formula One. The fee to Liberty Media alone is around $20 million, which no circuit produces with ticket sales. So, there must also be money from investors and that is what we are doing now.”

More news in brief

What race would you like to see join the Formula 1 calendar? Comment below.

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