With the addition of several new circuits and countries to the Formula One calendar recently, notably in Saudi Arabia, Miami, Las Vegas and Qatar (both planned for 2023), the more traditional circuits like Monaco and Spa-Francorchamps are on the limit of keeping their place on the calendar, with many drivers having already lamented the possibility of losing the Belgian circuit from the calendar, as its contract expires after the 2022 event.
However, Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has shed some new light on the matter and clarified that he never said this would be the last race at Spa, and that he would be “very prudent” if he was to say it:
“As you can imagine I can’t comment too much on that [2023 calendar] because there is respect of discussion and formalizing through the World Motor Sport Council with the FIA,” he said.
“Just two things on that – I saw some comments that I said Belgium will be the last year [in 2022] – I would be prudent on that comment, I would be very prudent, that’s the only thing I would say.”
Domenicali said that the sport is looking for “balance” on its calendar, with the amount of races per region distributed equally – but made it clear that money and financial resources still play a big role in which races are retained:
“It’s true that we are working and discussing with other promoters to see if they’re ready for a full commitment already this year or next year,” he said.
“But I would say the balance that has always been a point that we have discussed is to find the mix of races where we’re going to have at least one third in Europe, one third in the Far East area and the other one in the Americas and Middle East.
“So we want to be balanced. Of course, we are talking about a business where investments and financial contributions are very important.”
F1’s CEO has stressed that the sport has “full respect” for its traditional races, even if they don’t bring so much money, and confirmed that discussions are “still ongoing” regarding the Belgian GP for next year and beyond:
“But we have always said that the traditional races – the races that we know can’t bring the money that others are bringing – have full respect from us.
“You will see [there] will be respect also, not only this year, but also in the future. With Belgium the discussions are still ongoing,” Domenicali concluded.