F1 chief interested in new European street race amid doubts over Monaco GP

Formula 1, under the ownership of Liberty Media, are determined to take the sport to exotic new venues.

Miami has been added to the calendar this year and a third American race, in Las Vegas, will join in 2023. Talks are also advanced about taking the series back to South Africa as soon as next year. The increasing number of new races has cast doubt over some of the venues in the sport’s traditional European heartlands, with some set to lose their spots in the coming years.

Next month’s French Grand Prix could be the last at the Paul Ricard circuit, which has produced a series of underwhelming races since returning to the calendar in 2018. Furthermore, the Monaco GP is under some threat after a lack of action recently at the prestigious track, while the Belgium Grand Prix, at the iconic Spa circuit, is also thought to be at risk – although there has been speculation that it could be used every other year on rotation.

They could be replaced by a new race in France, held on a street circuit in the charismatic city of Nice. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has revealed the city is interested in hosting a race, telling French title L’Equipe: “Historically, France has been an important nation in motorsport,” he said. “You might not know this, but there is an amazing project with Nice, who wants a Grand Prix. It's great, as it proves that other destinations in your country are interested in F1.

“We are going to look at the applications and study them carefully. Other things could come very soon. All I can tell you is, by late July, you will know more about the future of your Grand Prix.”

It has been suggested that the Nice talks could also be used as bargaining chip as F1 looks to renegotiate its deal with the nearby Monaco Grand Prix, which has also come under scrutiny due to the nature of the track where overtaking is virtually impossible. The F1 calendar features 22 races this season after Russia Grand Prix was axed. It will not be replaced.

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“The calendar for next year is being prepared,” said Domenicali. “Having 30 GPs wouldn't be reasonable. Our preferred option would be to keep 23 or 24 races.

“And to achieve this, based on the demand, we’re going to work with the principle of rotation – not only for Europe but for other countries too. I’m back from South Africa, but we are a World Championship and Africa doesn't have a place [on the calendar] at the moment. It needs to change.

“Discussions are making progress and I think we'll have an answer soon. Having a race there while Lewis Hamilton is still racing would be formidable.”

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