Formula 1 is adopting a new strategy of signing long-term contracts with circuits, with Madrid set to host ten seasons and Las Vegas also committed as a venue for a decade, which could impact European races and put pressure on teams due to the increased number of races, but could also provide financial stability for circuits.
‣ The new circuit on the outskirts of Madrid will host ten seasons of Formula 1 racing, reflecting a new strategy of signing long-term contracts with circuits.
‣ Formula 1 has seen significant growth in the Middle East and the United States, but continues to maintain a presence in Europe, the birthplace of the sport.
‣ The addition of more races to the calendar, such as Madrid, raises questions about the impact on other European races and the overall energy required from the teams.
‣ Formula 1’s new approach of signing long-term contracts with circuits could be beneficial for circuits like Spa, Monza and Zandvoort, which rely heavily on the income from these races.
Formula 1’s racing scene is about to get a shake-up. Madrid’s outskirts are set to host a decade’s worth of seasons. It’s a similar story in Las Vegas, where the street circuit has also been locked in as an F1 venue for ten years. Stefano Domenicali, the CEO of F1, confirms this long-term contract trend. It’s a double-edged sword for circuits, though.
The Middle East and the United States have seen a surge in F1 growth in recent years. That’s according to the official website, which labels the growth as “exciting”. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are now regular race hosts. The US isn’t far behind, with three races per season in Las Vegas, Miami, and Austin. But Europe, the birthplace of the sport, isn’t forgotten, F1 insists.
Madrid’s Impact on the Race?
Imola and Zandvoort have made a comeback to the F1 calendar. However, this is balanced by the removal of the Grands Prix in Germany and France. The big question mark now is the impact of Madrid’s inclusion on the European races. After all, it’s a spot that’s been booked for a while. Formula One Management also hints that Barcelona could still host a Grand Prix.
By 2024, the calendar will be packed with 24 Grands Prix. This will demand a lot from the teams. So, adding unlimited races isn’t feasible. It’s likely that some races will drop off the F1 calendar. Circuits with short-term commitments, like Zandvoort, Spa-Francorchamps, and Monza, should be worried.
A Silver Lining for Spa, Monza, and Zandvoort?
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Domenicali revealed a change in F1’s approach. New contracts with circuits will now be long-term. But if a short-term contract is chosen, there’s a reason behind it. This is a glimmer of hope for circuits that negotiate with F1 annually for a second chance. A ten-year commitment would be a godsend, allowing for financially responsible track improvements. For Spa, F1 is a lifeline, making an annual visit crucial for survival.
If other circuits get priority and secure long-term contracts, Spa, Monza, or Zandvoort could be in trouble. They might not make it back to the calendar. Why? There simply won’t be room in the F1 schedule for years to come.