Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali says the sport will continue to evaluate options to develop the calendar as it looks to grow into new countries and welcome back former Grand Prix races.
Stefano Domenicali, the president of Formula 1, told Sky Sports F1 today that the series is looking to capitalize on the increased interest in the sport by scheduling up to 30 races per year, including events in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Africa.
F1 boss Stefano Domenicali thinks the sport’s global popularity means it may consider expanding its calendar in the future, with Grands Prix in Las Vegas and Africa being proposed.
F1 has witnessed a rebirth of interest as a result of shows like Drive to Survive, a Netflix series that chronicles the sport, and it’s also finally established a foothold in the United States, which had previously been mostly unexplored. Given the upcoming Miami Grand Prix and the continuation of Circuit of the Americas’ contract for the future years, it appears like F1 is chomping at the bit to get a chance to bring as many people to the track as possible.
In addition, there has been an increase in interest in Africa, with a return to the Kyalami course in South Africa.
If the Russian Grand Prix is replaced, a total of 23 races will be scheduled for 2022, with rumors circulating that Las Vegas, which hosted Formula 1 races in 1981 and 1982, may be added to the calendar in 2023.
Domenicali confirmed to Sky Sports F1 on the eve of the Bahrain Grand Prix that other destinations had expressed interest in joining the F1 schedule.
“We need to be balanced; we need to see what the other opportunities are,” Stefano Domenicali said. “Very soon, we are going to tell everyone what our strategy is to develop that market.”
Apart from mentioning the Chinese Grand Prix, which will return in 2023 following a three-year Covid-imposed hiatus, Domenicali also mentioned Africa as a significant growing area for Formula 1.
Despite the fact that there are currently no circuits on the continent that meet the FIA’s criteria for holding an F1 Grand Prix, Kyalami has been touted as a viable location.
Until 1993, the South African track was a regular fixture on the Formula One calendar, and Lewis Hamilton has recently promoted it as a potential future Grand Prix location.
“On top of America, on top of China, I think there is the potential also to be in Africa soon,” Domenicali added.
“There is a lot of interest there… For sure, that’s another area that, so far, is missing in the geography of our calendar.”
However, according to F1’s existing Concorde Agreement, or the terms by which everyone in the sport agrees to compete, only a maximum of 24 races per year are allowed until 2024, and if everything goes as planned in 2022, we’ll have a record-breaking 23 races. That doesn’t allow much room for new races to be added without eliminating others.
Despite this, Domenicali quipped that after the current Concorde Agreement expires, F1 may see up to 30 races per year, which isn’t exactly a good thing considering how many traveling F1 staff are already overworked and stressed out.