Drivers have been speaking out about one major downside of adding a race in Las Vegas to the calendar next season.
Formula One is clearly moving in a new direction as it attracts reams of new fans, and so, adding US dates to the calendar is a key move by stakeholders amid the ongoing evolution of the sport.
With the addition of Miami (2022), Las Vegas (2023), Qatar (in 2021), and the return of the Australian Grand Prix, some European locations are likely at risk of being dropped.
The current agreement with teams means there can be a max of 24 races in a season, but 2023 would exceed that if you added all current races with the latest additions – and drivers aren’t happy about the potential of losing some key circuits.
Speaking recently, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon said: “I’m very happy to discover new tracks but yes, to see my home Grand Prix under threat – I’ll definitely do everything I can to be vocal on that.
“It’s extremely special when we go there every year, so I don’t know the situation exactly but I’m not happy to hear it’s under threat at the moment and I’ll do everything I can to keep it on the calendar.”
Meanwhile, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz said: “I’m a big fan of going to Miami and Vegas but at the same time it’s a big loss having to lose races.
“I wouldn’t like to stop racing in Europe.
“It’s a great place to go racing, it’s where our heritage is and I think we need to keep coming back, even if it’s not every year, at least keep it on the calendar.”
Lance Stroll made his thoughts known too and said he was worried about the future of European races.
“In a way, I think it’s the direction Formula One has to take. It’s evolving the sport, it’s great for the American market and it’s bringing a lot of attraction to F1,” he said.
“But it’s a shame we’re seeing some of the tracks that are great to drive and we’ve been going to for a long time, such as Spa, under threat.
“So yeah, I guess naturally for F1 it is the right thing to do from a business side of things but it definitely will be a shame to maybe see some very traditional tracks that are great to drive be under threat and potentially disappear.”
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