Formula 1 is facing an overhaul of its calendar. New races in Miami, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have recently joined the schedule and Las Vegas could become another addition in the coming months. With an ever-growing roster of races, we take a look at which events are in most danger of falling off the F1 calendar.
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has recently stated that a number of existing Grands Prix could fall off the Formula 1 calendar to make way for new races. Domenicali says that the announcement of new races joining the calendar can be expected soon and suggests that some events may alternate between venues each year.
Formula 1 has recently signed new long-term contracts with a number of circuits. While Circuit of The Americas is confirmed to remain as home of the United States Grand Prix until at least 2026 and Marina Bay will continue to host the Singapore Grand Prix until 2028, the longest contract signed is with the Bahrain Grand Prix, which will stay on the calendar until 2036.
Furthermore, races in Canada and Abu Dhabi also have their futures confirmed into the next decade, while China, Spain and Hungary all have longer-term deals. Meanwhile, recent additions to the schedule have joined on multi-year contracts. Both the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and the new-for-2022 Miami Grand Prix will be on the calendar for at least a decade, while Qatar has also signed a deal to host races for ten seasons.
|Current contract ends
|Last contract signed
|Bahrain Grand Prix
|Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
|Australian Grand Prix
|Imola Grand Prix
|Miami Grand Prix
|Spanish Grand Prix
|Monaco Grand Prix
|Azerbaijan Grand Prix
|Canadian Grand Prix
|British Grand Prix
|Austrian Grand Prix
|French Grand Prix
|Hungarian Grand Prix
|Belgian Grand Prix
|Dutch Grand Prix
|Italian Grand Prix
|Singapore Grand Prix
|Japanese Grand Prix
|United States Grand Prix
|Mexico City Grand Prix
|Sao Paulo Grand Prix
|Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
|Qatar Grand Prix
|Chinese Grand Prix
With a maximum of 25 slots available on the calendar, it looks certain that some existing races will have to fall off the calendar to make way for new events. But which circuit are most likely to lose their calendar slots? Read on for the circuits who are yet to sign long-term contracts with F1.
Monaco Grand Prix
It’s difficult to imagine a Formula 1 calendar without the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix on it. The principality’s race has been missing from the schedule only once since 1955. That was in 2020, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
As far as we know, Monaco has not signed a new deal with Formula 1 since 2011, when a ten-year contract was signed. That would have secured the event’s future through to 2021, though presumably another year was added to the deal following 2020’s no show.
In 2022, tradition does not necessarily secure a race’s position on the calendar. In fact, one of Monaco’s traditions is being overhauled this year as F1 looks for consistency through every round on the calendar. Monaco will fall into line with other races by having the first two Free Practice sessions take place on Friday; not Thursday as has been a long-standing tradition.
There are other issues with Monaco for F1 too. TV coverage of the race is carried out locally, rather than by FOM (Formula One Management), often to the detriment of the production. Financially, Monaco’s hosting fee is much lower than any other race on the current calendar.
Money issues aside, the main issue with Circuit de Monaco is also what makes it so iconic. The tight confines of the street circuit means that overtaking is difficult and races are often processional. With a new, heavier generation of cars, that issue may only be exacerbated in 2022. Could it be the case that Formula 1 has finally outgrown the principality?
French Grand Prix
Russia’s recent removal from the calendar may have saved the French Grand Prix’s place on the schedule for now – but with F1 keen to tap into new markets in Africa and expand the calendar to three rounds in the United States, France’s position is far from safe.
2022 is the final season of Circuit Paul Ricard’s contract to host the French Grand Prix. The track rejoined the calendar in 2018 and produced processional races in the first two years of its return. The first race back in 2018 was also blighted by very poor organization, especially in regards to traffic and mobility. After missing a year due to the pandemic in 2020, the event returned last year and produced a much more interesting race.
The 2021 event was brought forward by one week at short notice and was open to only 15,000 fans per day. Tickets for what could be the final running of the French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard are on sale now.
Belgian Grand Prix
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is one of F1’s legendary venues having appeared on the calendar in the sport’s inaugural season back in 1950. However, the circuit, which has changed vastly from its original layout, has not been ever-present on the calendar. The track was off the calendar between 1970 and 1982 due to safety concerns. Since 1985, Spa has been absent from the calendar only twice: in 2003 due to a change in tobacco advertising laws in the country and in 2006 due to renovation work.
The Belgian Grand Prix circuit is currently undergoing more major renovations. Several corners – including the iconic Eau Rouge complex – have been re-profiled, sections of the track have been resurfaced and new grandstands have been constructed. All of these changes and improvements make the race promoter “confident” that Spa-Francorchamps will secure a new deal with F1 when its current contract ends later this year.
Mexico City Grand Prix
The Mexican Grand Prix was in serious danger of falling off the F1 calendar back in 2019. However, a new deal was signed in August of that year which was bank-rolled by the local government. As a result of the financial backing, the event adopted the new ‘Mexico City Grand Prix’ title in 2021.
Unlike other races which missed their race in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mexico did not roll its contract over for an additional year. It means that the Mexico City Grand Prix’s current contract ends this year.
With Mexican driver Sergio Perez in a front-running Red Bull car, F1’s popularity in Mexico is at an all-time high. Proving its popularity, last year’s race attracted a sell-out crowd with over 370,000 fans flocking to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez over the race weekend. It would be a surprise for this event to lose its place on the schedule any time soon.