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Verstappen fears F1's future on street tracks

NEWS STORY
22/07/2022

As F1 looks increasingly to street tracks, Max Verstappen admits that he fears for the future of classic race circuits such as Spa.

In its bid to increase the number of races, thereby adding more to the coffers, F1 is turning away from the traditional racing circuit and instead looking at street tracks, be it in cities it believes would make a great backdrop for the sport or those where governments are falling over themselves to 'sportswash' their images.

However, the move to street tracks threatens the future of classic venues like Spa-Francorchamps, and Max Verstappen admits that this is of great concern to him.

"It is sad," said the world champion. "It is my favourite track to drive, it is a very iconic track.

"I don't want to see myself in 2028 driving only on street circuits, close to cities, just for fan engagement," he added. "I understand it is about money. F1 cars are not designed for street circuits."

While his opinion might be shared by the likes of Sebastian Vettel, who makes no effort to hide his love of the tradition of the sport, seven-time champion, Lewis Hamilton admits that he isn't particularly bothered.

With Paul Ricard also under threat, the Briton was asked which track he would rather retain on the calendar.

"I'm not bothered either way to be honest," said the Mercedes driver. "I would say Spa has the history, it has probably in the past has had the bigger crowd but I think they've just made amendments there as well so the racing is probably a little bit better there.

"They're both great circuits and this is a beautiful part of the world as well," he added. "So I don't necessarily see a reason to lose either."

"I'm biased," admitted Pierre Gasly. "You ask a French driver what he wants between his own Grand Prix or Belgian Grand Prix.

"I love France, I want to race in my country in front of my fans and my supporters and I will always support that Grand Prix before anyone else.

"What's sad is that on the other hand, Spa is probably my favourite track on the calendar. I've been growing up, watching F1 racing there pretty much every single year and it's such a beautiful track, great place for racing and I think at the end of the day, it will be a loss, a loss for us as Formula 1 racing drivers. For sure France will be my priority, but we'll be sad to lose Spa as well."

"I think both of them are great," added Sergio Perez. "Maybe they can alternate one year and one year. Maybe that's a good option. But certainly, they both are very unique in a way. It certainly would be a big shame to lose Spa."

Indeed... alternate between Spa and Paul Ricard or Silverstone and Monza, whilst ensuring that the likes of Miami and Las Vegas remain permanent fixtures.

Check out our Friday gallery from Le Castellet here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by trackrecords, 30/07/2022 2:45

"Look how long some of these new races lasted: Turkey, India, Korea, China, Malaysia, Valencia. While, apart from the Olympics, it seems the norm for televised major athletic events to be held in half-empty stadia, F1 needs full grandstands to look correct. "

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by The stogie, 28/07/2022 23:31

"Bigger crowds? Like at the 'sand traps'? Really?"

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3. Posted by Superbird70, 22/07/2022 11:59

"Max needs to stop complaining about track limits then, since it seems that concern only applies to non-street circuits."

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4. Posted by Anthony, 22/07/2022 11:51

"I agree with Max completely. Even more street tracks would be a terrible move."

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5. Posted by Greybeard, 22/07/2022 11:03

"The regimes which most need 'sportwashing' are those regimes which will have least trouble in closing roads, demolishing buildings, cutting down trees, disregarding to problems caused to the local populace and punishing any criticism.

But F1 is 'going green' so that's all right then."

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