Some of Formula 1’s biggest names are concerned that the highly popular Belgian Grand Prix could be dropped from the schedule as early as next year.
F1 returns from its summer break at the iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, but the track’s contract is up and a new deal has yet to be reached.
“I’ll be sad,” McLaren driver Lando Norris told reporters Monday. “I guess a lot of things are just about money nowadays, which is the issue. It’s a business. It’s a historic race for Formula 1.
“It’s the same as Monaco, from what I know they don’t even pay and it’s on the calendar. Same with like Monza and stuff. I feel it should always be on for as long as Formula 1 is around.”
Several of F1’s most popular tracks are rumored to be in danger of losing their annual races with the sport expanding rapidly across the globe. The United States is adding a race in Las Vegas next year, South Africa is hoping to return to the schedule and F1 could return to China if COVID-19 restrictions in the country allow.
While the sport continues to grow, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner called on the FIA to protect F1’s historic races. Along with the Belgian Grand Prix, Monaco also does not have a deal in place for next year.
“There should be a few races – Monaco, Silverstone, Spa, Monza – they’re the big ones, the historic ones, and I think we should ringfence and really protect those,” Horner said, per the Express. “It’s great that these new venues are coming in and that there is interest but you’ve got to have that history.
“It would be like having the ATP Tour without Wimbledon. I think they’re part of our history, they’re part of our DNA. We’ll definitely make our opinion known, but you’ve got to trust the people that are running the business at the end of the day.”
–Field Level Media