As Formula 1 begins to explore new parts of the world and reconciles with old venues, CEO Stefano Domenicali has affirmed that the world championship will still have a big European flavour.
F1 will have three races on the calendar next year when Vegas is added to the existing grand prix in Miami and Austin, and there is growing speculation that a return to the Kyalami Circuit in South Africa is imminent.
Journalist Joe Saward even spoke of a “Caribbean Grand Prix” in Colombia in the coming years, but the expansion of events in the pinnacle of motorsport inevitably means that sacrifices will be made.
It has led to fears that iconic circuits races such as Monaco, Spa, Silverstone and Monza may be abandoned, and the two formers are out of contract this year.
The French Grand Prix is on the cusp, while Austria and Mexico also do not currently have a contract for 2023.
As F1 looks towards its American audience, cultivated largely by Drive to Survive, and looks to respond to the demands of so many world venues that now want to be part of the F1 season, Domenicali has moved to cool concerns that the pinnacle of motorsport is turning its back on its roots.
“There are areas of the world that want to have Formula 1 and I think one area we want to develop is the African area, we are a World Championship and that is an area where we are not there,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“We are working very hard to make sure of this scenario, where we are going to have a grand prix soon, and then there is the interest of the Far East.
“But we don’t want to lose the interest, of course, of Europe. We were born here and we will stay here.
“I hear a lot of voices that are not true. I mean, the beauty of the situation we are living in today is we have a lot of options.
“And we will make the right decision, thinking about the strategy, thinking about the DNA of the sport, thinking about how every promoter wants to be involved with us.”
Chloe Targett-Adams, global director of race promotion for F1, sees the benefit of having such interest from all around the world, affirming that trying to strike the balance between old and new is a good headache for the sport to have.
“We are a global sport, we need global traction, a foothold in Africa is something we’ve been working on for many years now,” she explained.
“COVID showed us we can race quickly, but really to get to where we want to be strategically, to build the sport and build the fan base, it’s kind of a couple of years’ process.
“The US is still very much in our sights, and Africa and Asia I think is where we need to be.
“If you look at China, with the way COVID has happened, we’ve been out of that market for now coming on three years, and next year is still a question mark.
“How we race in Europe is also a big question, making sure we really keep that heartland of the sport.
“But it’s a wonderful position to be in because everyone wants a race. That just gives us the best opportunity to create the most strategically-focused, growth-driven calendar we’ve been able to do for many, many years.”
Former Benetton and Renault team principal, Flavio Briatore, said before Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix that he anticipates a new deal for the race will be agreed in the next “two weeks.”