Teams welcome return to South Africa, but not at the expense of the classics
While F1 bosses are in talks with organizers over the sport’s return to South Africa, team bosses are all for a return but not at the expense of classic European venues.
Hardly a day goes by these days without news of F1 targeting another country or city as a potential Grand Prix host.
In recent weeks we have had Nice and Madrid while F1 boss Stefano Domenicali traveled to South Africa after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix amid talks of a race as early as next year.
The current Concorde deal – as it stands – allows a maximum of 24 races per season, but Domenicali said he thought there was potential up to 30, and that could be a key factor when the Current Concorde will expire in 2025. .
However, expanding the calendar, in Liberty’s eye, means new territory not the same old one, and as a result there are growing fears for France, Spa-Francorchamps or even Monaco.
Although there is talk of venues hosting races on a rotational basis, there are fears that accommodation costs as well as the desire to take F1 to the streets could mean the demise of some of the sport’s classics… somewhat ironic when you consider that in the midst of the pandemic, these are the same tracks the sport has turned to.
Team leaders welcome newcomers, especially the likes of South Africa, but not at the expense of traditional venues.
“We have the luxury of having more countries wanting to host Grands Prix than we can fit on our calendar,” says Zak Brown, “so that’s a good problem to have.
“At the end of the day, I think we all have huge faith in Stefano to put together the most optimal schedule for the fans, for the teams, for sustainability in terms of logistics, economy and all that. comes into play when creating a schedule.
“I think there will probably be a time when we have to look at rotating races because if we have the demand, and there are great tracks and great countries, then I think we should try to get them. but it will be beyond what is physically possible to compete in. And then we have some great new venues that have arrived: Vegas, Miami and… I think we all love historic tracks, so hopefully ‘there is a place for us to accommodate everyone on an adaptable and flexible schedule going forward.’
“There are a lot of countries that want a race and a lot of exciting new races,” adds Jost Capito. “But on the other hand, a circuit like Spa is traditional, the drivers love it and… the teams don’t like it that much because of the weather, but I think it has its place in the calendar and to see how in the future you get the right balance between new tracks and traditional tracks.
“But we have confidence in Stefano, because he is old enough in Formula 1 to also know the value of traditional racing and we are convinced that he presents a really balanced calendar.
“F1 is a world championship,” insists Frédéric Vasseur, “and I think it would make perfect sense to have a race in Africa and Kyalami would, I think, be a big event.
“Now we don’t have to see it as a competition between Spa and Kyalami, it’s not at all, but it’s also a good feeling for the championship to have this kind of competition. I feel remember that a few years ago we were not in this state and that we must appreciate the work done by the FOM and the FIA.
“Formula 1 will find a good balance,” said Otmar Szafnauer. “Me personally, I love going to Spa because of the track. So hopefully that will be the one who can stay.”
“We help F1 to have a balanced calendar,” adds Mike Krack, “I think they know well where the fan base is, what balance you need to have between the new and the classic.
“If one or the other race is not on the calendar every year, I don’t think it’s a tragedy,” he admits. “We have to look for novelty without going to 35 races or something. So from that point of view, I think we will find a good balance.
“And like I said, if there’s one that hasn’t been there for a year, something that we’ve had in the past, I think Germany turned a few years ago, and that’s fine, in my opinion.”
“I’m really looking forward to going to South Africa,” says Franz Tost, “because we miss that race there. We miss that continent. And it’s really, really important to have a race there. down.
“And for the other races,” he adds, always pragmatic, “I don’t want to name any names. No money, no gambling, it’s quite simple. If they have the money, we go go. If they don’t have one”. don’t have the money, we’re not going there.”