Spa at serious risk of losing place on F1 calendar despite prospect of 30-race season

Spa Francorchamps could lose its spot as Formula 1 seeks to add new tracks to the calendar.

Spa Francorchamps is reportedly at serious risk of losing its iconic race in 2023 as the Formula 1 calendar continues to embark on fresh adventures.

The Belgian Grand Prix is out of contract after this year’s race in the Ardennes Forest having played host to 54 previous races, with 15 different constructors and 28 drivers taking the win at the hallowed and historic track.

It comes after comments from F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali that he would like to exploit Asian and African interest, with a return to the Kyalami circuit on the cards, while the Shanghai International Circuit waits to resume its place as the host of the Chinese Grand Prix following the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also suggested that, due to the global attentiveness around the pinnacle of motorsport, there could end up being 30 races on the calendar, including three in the United States – namely in Austin, Miami and Las Vegas.

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“I think there is potential to go to 24. I would say there is potential to go to 30, in terms of the interest we see all around the world,” stated the former Ferrari boss.

“It is up to us to try to find the right balance, considering the venues which would like to be in F1, [and] the historical values we need to see on the calendar.”

However, this would require sacrifices, and the Italian confirmed that there would be an abandonment of some current races to make way for new, pristine venues with the demographic reach of F1 now more versatile than ever before.

“There are some promoters who have expiring agreements, and probably some of the current Grands Prix will no longer be part of the calendar,” he conceded.

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A report has indicated that Spa’s future in F1 is under vacillation, but the disappearance of the Russian Grand Prix after their invasion of Ukraine might open the door for them to sign an extension.

In the meantime, a new deal is being negotiated with the popular Zandvoort circuit, which returned last year after a 36-year absence.

“F1 wants to continue in Zandvoort for years to come,” tweeted Dutch journalist Erik van Haren.

“At the same time, Spa Francorchamps and France are on the cusp. In Spa, [there is] a little more hope for a new contract after Russia has been scrapped.”

He also confirmed that a race in Vegas will “probably be announced soon.”