British Grand Prix safe from F1 axe despite need for races to raise the bar

Formula One cancels Russian Grand Prix following invasion of Ukraine

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown has insisted that the British Grand Prix and other established races are not in danger of being axed. The F1 calendar has seen some alterations with the new Miami Grand Prix taking place on Sunday and a Las Vegas race set to be introduced in 2023.

Last year the sport hosted races in Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the very first time, and there have been calls to stage a Grand Prix in South Africa. The addition of new races naturally means some existing circuits, such as the long-standing British GP may be replaced.

But despite the ever-expanding calendar, Brown insists Silverstone’s place will remain secure. “No. They have different geographies. They are all different races,” he said when asked if the British GP and other high-profile races were under threat.

“I think Miami is going to raise the bar for everyone. Singapore is an unbelievable event, Monaco is an unbelievable event, Silverstone is an unbelievable event, Abu Dhabi is an unbelievable event, Australia was sold out this year.” The F1 calendar comprises 23 Grand Prix races, and it will reach its maximum of 24 when the sport heads to Sin City for the first time in 2023.

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CEO Stefano Domenicali once expressed the idea for the sport to host as many as 30 races in a season. “I would say there is potential to go to 30! In terms of the interest we see all around the world,” he said back in March.

“It is up to us to try to find the right balance considering what are the venues which would like to be in F1, what are the historical values we need to see on the calendar. We need to be balanced, we need to see what are the other opportunities. And very soon we are going to tell everyone what is our strategy to develop that market.

“Not only Las Vegas, there are other cities that are interested in Formula 1. On top of America, on top of China, I think there is a potential also to be in Africa soon. There is a lot of interest there. For sure that’s another area that so far is missing in the geography of our calendar.” With more venues queuing up to host races, Brown argued some would have to rotate biennially.

“There’s demands from places like South Africa and we can’t really logistically do more than 23 grands prix,” he added. “I mean at what point do you go that’s just too much? Everyone right now kind of feels like this is the max. 

“So, if you did 17/18 and then you had five that rotated every year. We don’t increase the frequency but we increase the markets. “There’s a lot of sports where they play every two or four years. You wouldn’t want a grand prix every four years but I think every two years works.” Sunday’s Miami race will mark the first of two events in the United States this year, with the Austin Grand Prix set to take place in October.

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