Domenicali: F1 won’t sacrifice Europe for Asia/Africa push
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has reassured European fans the sport will not drop traditional races in favour of moving to Asia or Africa in the future.
The news comes as fresh doubts start to grow over the Monaco Grand Prix losing its slot on the calendar, as well as the French GP and Belgian GP dropping to alternate years.
The F1 calendar is already bumper in comparison to previous seasons and the schedule is currently capped to 24 races.
With two events in the USA and a third on the horizon in Las Vegas, as well as the Middle East having a bigger presence, spaces are starting to run out on the World Championship calendar.
There are also growing suggestions F1 is aiming for a return to South Africa at Kyalami, leaving many to wonder what sacrifices will happen and where.
Speaking at the Business of F1 Forum, Domenicali has suggested there is a push to get a race in Africa but admitted traditional European races would not be forfeited.
“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,” said Domenicali, quoted by Motorsport.com. “We are a World Championship and that is an area where we are not there.
“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.”
F1’s global director of race promotion, Chloe Targett-Adams, said the sport has a more balanced focus of newer markets and original European races in more traditional venues.
“We are a global sport, we need global traction,” said Targett-Adams. “A foothold in Africa is something we’ve been working on for many years now.
“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.”