Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali says long-standing venues cannot rely solely on their history and must continue to evolve to remain on the schedule.
Formula 1 has expanded its calendar in recent years, with Saudi Arabia and Qatar joining on long-term deals in 2021, Miami joining in 2022, while Las Vegas is the championship’s flagship 2023 debutant.
Next year’s calendar is expected to have a record-breaking 24 grands prix, featuring the 23 events from 2023 in conjunction with the contracted Chinese round, which has not happened since 2019 due to the pandemic.
Speaking during a Liberty Media investor call, Domenicali described the current calendar as “pretty good – I would say in terms of number, 24 [events] is the right number, and the mix of continents we have today is looking good.”
He explained that “it’s no secret we are still seeing if there’s a chance to go to Africa [because] it’s the only continent missing.”
Having been asked about balancing historic grands prix with new venues, Domenicali said: “When historic [circuits] are only looking behind there’s something that’s no good, when the historic [circuits have] a good foundation to look ahead with a different future that’s beautiful.
“That’s why with the so-called historic grands prix we are focused on understanding what is the view of the future.
“To be arrogant and believe that you have a granted future because you had a race since 100 years, to be very honest is not enough.
“I think in this moment everyone is understanding that, and we are not playing any games, we are very transparent with them, we are saying if they want to be in the calendar they need to be doing the things we believe is right for them and also for us as F1.
“It’s clear in the last couple of the years the perception of these historical places have changed as they realise the landscape is different.”
The current calendar features three rounds in the US – Miami, Las Vegas and Austin – but Domenicali dismissed any concerns that the trio could negatively influence each other.
“Every race – not only in America – has a different personality, different quality, different segmentation of fans,” said Domenicali.
“I don’t see any cannibalisation; everyone is different, everything is different, the events are different, I don’t see any problem there.”