One race per country for F1 – Domenicali

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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali sees an end to the days of one country holding two races, as Spain currently does.


Domenicali: ??Formula 1 is heading towards one race per country?? (Ferrari)

“Our position is very clear and leaves no room for interpretation. Our sport is increasingly expanding the number of countries hosting a Grand Prix and all the teams are in agreement about that. Therefore it is inevitable that it will no longer be possible to have two races in the same nation. It’s not the job of the teams who choose where a Grand Prix is held, that’s up to the commercial rights holder. Everything else is pure speculation.”

Mansell backs British pair (Press Assoication)

McLaren will come back stronger. Both Jenson [Button] and Lewis [Hamilton] are already world champions, and they are both hungry and young. They are with one of the best teams in the business and they have an incredible power plant behind them with Mercedes.”

Officials discussing F1 site fixes (Youtube)

Time for some realism on Lotus (Who Are You, Anyway?)

“According to one of my snouts, [Tony] Fernandes assured Proton that his team would be among the front-runners in its first season.”

Q & A with Dany Bahar (Autosport)

“For the fans it is not an easy situation. They are confused because there is a Lotus team, but maybe the fans have also not seen the whole full picture of who is the car company. Maybe they are confused a bit because is this not the car company who gave them the licence, and now we are trying to stop them from racing under the name?”

The art of strategy – Part III (Mercedes GP)

“We rely quite heavily on our software. At the start, you have 100,000 scenarios and a lot of these depend on the start and can therefore be eliminated as the race gets going. The race order which will define positioning for the majority of the race is generally settled in the first few laps and from that point, we can get a broad perspective of where we are and start narrowing down which scenarios are valid. We have tools which can predict when cars should be stopping and where they could potentially drop back into the order. We use the software-generated scenarios as a background but then our judgement to make the final decision.”

NB. No direct link, log-in required.

Comment of the day

Adam was at the race that was voted best of the year by F1 Fanatic readers:

I had the pleasure of being at the Canadian GP and the atmosphere was just as cracking as the race, the entire city loves F1, there are street festivals with live music and F1 related tents, attrations and activities, you can transit from the centre of the city, ten minutes to the race track.

It’s a bargain too, I got my three-day general admission ticket for $100 CAD, around ??78. And managed to talk the wonderful staff into letting us watch the support races from the hairpin grandstand.

I will definitely be going back. Beautiful track, fantastic people, some locals noticed we were beer-less and suggested we help them empty their cooler. Party mad city, great weekend.

Are you going to next year’s Canadian Grand Prix? Find other fans who are going here: 2011 Canadian Grand Prix discussion

From the forum

Eggry is wondering which old McLaren appears in the Forza Motorsport 4 trailer.

Site updates

Some changes were made to the forum yesterday in an effort to solve the problems some people have had accessing it. If you still can’t get onto the forum please leave a comment below describing the fault, which browser you’re using and which version.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Johnny86!

On this day in F1

Lotus founder and design guru Colin Chapman died on this day in 1982.

One wonders what he would make of the row over the current row between Tony Fernandes and Dany Bahar over the use of the name ‘Lotus’:

Lotus naming rights row

    Browse all articles on the Lotus naming rights row

    Image © Ferrari spa

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    78 comments on “One race per country for F1 – Domenicali”

    1. “Our position is very clear and leaves no room for interpretation. Our sport is increasingly expanding the number of countries hosting a Grand Prix and all the teams are in agreement about that. Therefore it is inevitable that it will no longer be possible to have two races in the same nation. It’s not the job of the teams who choose where a Grand Prix is held, that’s up to the commercial rights holder. Everything else is pure speculation.”

      Yesterday, Luca pushed for something that will never happen. Today, Stefano is advocating that already exists … as a future policy.

      Where the hell do Ferrari find these people!?

      1. Because obviously there aren’t two Grands Prix in Spain and there aren’t any plans for a second GP in Italy somewhere like Rome….

        1. The Rome GP is questionable. WHile it has been signed off, city authorities only have a limited window of opportunity in which to sign off on it and it is rapidly running out. Some indications suggest that the city will not act upon it.

          As for the Valencia/Barcelona races, Valencia has been so unprofitable that the organisers are constantly rumoured to be in trouble. And while the race was created to capitalise on the success of Feranndo Alonso, it has had little effect.

          In addition to the Russian Grand Prix, there have been proposals submitted for races in Bulgaria and Vietnam. If Bulgaria goes ahead, it is said that the contract will guarantee them to be Eastern Europe’s only Grand Prix, which means that Hungary and Turkey will be axed. Bulgaria will replace one, Russia will replace the other and the number of Grands Prix will remain constant. If the Vietnamese government sign off on a Vietnamese Grand Prix, Valencia will likely be first in the firing line.

          There’s also been talk of a return to France, Argentina and South Africa, and Hugo Chavez is interested in getting a Venezuelan Grand Prix up and running. However, the talk of these races varies depending on the day and the mood of the people involved, and some – like the Venezuelan Grand Prix – are so vague that they’re barely even worth mentioning.

          1. That’s a lot of information…

            Sadly Stefano was only commenting on current venues which, as Ads states, Spain has two.

            1. You’re missing the point – there’s a whole host of circuits up for renewal in the not-too-distant future, and while there may currently be two races in Spain, Stefano will get his wish shortly. Of course, it’s all part of Bernie’s Master Plan, but Stefano will likely credit it to himself when it happens.

          2. I’m from Venezuela and I haven’t hear anything about a grand prix here from local newspapers… about one or two years ago I heard something here on this site, but nothing else from there

            1. There was something about Chavez considering having one, with a proposal for a circuit on the Isla Margarita. It was months ago and it was from a source I don’t trust 100%, but I wanted to mention it to make a point.

            2. Ditto on the South African rumours.

              Earlier in the year the Gauteng Government (Gauteng is the province where Kyalami is located) was forced by the National Government to cancel its motorsport sponsorship contracts (which included a deal with BMW-Sauber last year) because they didn’t provide the projecfted revenue. The other track which was proposed was a street circuit in Cape Town but the environmentalists may veto that, along with the debt that was racked up by hosting the World Cup.

              Couple those things with insane plans to perhaps hold the Olympics and F1 returning to SA isn’t looking likely.

          3. This way we’ll have different nations every year. One year Monza, Spa, Silverstone, the next year some new circuits in other nations.

            1. Er, hope not, Sliverstone, Monza, Monaco and Spa are the cheif historicals, they’re probably fine. Few other, like Brazil for instance, look at that place it’s practically falling over, still never getting the axe, thank goodness.

      2. You have a problem with Ferrari and its Ferrari personnel don’t you? No matter what they say you always find something wrong with it, if it was horner or whitmarsh saying it would okay with you wouldn’t it?

    2. there’s something i really don’t like about stefano – can’t quite put my finger on it. irrelevant, i know. i wish bahar’d shut up – we’re not “confused”, we’re annoyed.

      1. we’re not “confused”, we’re annoyed.


        1. The only reason why fans are annoyed is because of the Lotus-Lotus situation. If Tony Fernandes’ team never existed, people wouldn’t care. But given the sheer size and scope of Bahar’s plans for Lotus in motorsport in general and Formula 1 in particular, it’s apparent that he’s been working on this for quite some time. It’s just all happened at the same time as Team Lotus. And based on the lead story on Autosport right now, it would appear that Group Lotus approached Lotus Racing looking to form an alliance, but Lotus Racing set conditions that Group Lotus found unfavourable – too much money and not enough success to justify the expense. When Renault approached them with better terms and the Lotus Racing stalemate wan’t broken, Group Lotus did the only thing that made sense and went to Renault.

          1. Well that’s probably debatable. Fernandes has denied that it would have cost Group any more (or even as much) to invest in his team. I guess that’s a case of he said she said, which we’ll likely never know the truth of. What I took from Bahar’s statements yesterday is that he had no interest in investing in a team that he didn’t then take at least partial control of, which I can’t hold against him. It definitely sounds to me though (from all the hear say information out there) is that he never had any intention of investing in Fernandes’ team regardless of price. The deal with Group for Fernandes to license the Lotus name was made before Bahar arrived, and he turned the policy on that around 180 degrees at the earliest opportunity afforded him. It’s just an unfortunate situation all around, and I have a feeling at this point that there won’t be any amicable solution in which Fernandes’ chassis will be called Lotus as Bahar also stated yesterday that he owns the name on any car, period.

          2. Of Course, buying a small share of an exisitng team (Renault F1) was going to be cheaper and less risk than setting up from scratch. It is easy for DB to say these things, but we do not know what TF was offering. DB may have been wanted a controlling share of TF’s team for less money than he paid for the small share of the Renault Team.

            Despite what DB says his actions indicate its all about ‘brand’ and therefore he only wants to put the logo on the car for as little money as possible.

          3. The thing is, nobody here knows, what conditions were offered by Bahar, nor what the demands of Fernandez are.

            It is only to easy to be in disagreement if one side wants to pay a penny and the other side wanting millions with the true value somewhere in between.

            Bahar seems to be totally megalomaniac. Today i read, that he is seriously pushing for Lotus to develop its own engine for 2013 for both road cars and F1 and Indy.

            Wow, how many things do they want to do at once (racing in F1+GP2/3, Indy, GT, 5 new models to market, build new factories, develop new engine, …). Totally unrealistic and a big paycheck for the Malaysian people.

    3. 2 races in the same country should be forbidden forever!.

      Specially if those two races are as dull as Valencia and Barcelona… plus, both cities are within sight of each other.

      1. Perhaps that should be “2 races represen ting the same country.” I’d be more than happy if San Marino came back.

        1. I’d be more than happy if San Marino came back.

          I wouldn’t. They ruined the track in ’95, they should have just stopped racing there after ’94.

          1. London Race in the UK is the only second race in one country that should be allowed.

            Make a rule that country with most teams based in it gets a second race because the teams don’t have to travel as far and as a result they reduce their overall transport bills!

            1. @Calum,

              Using that argument, why have any races on a continent that has no teams based there? It would save even more on transport costs. I would rather see new venues in similar regions as others to allow more pairings.

              Maybe add another South American race or Southeast Asian race. I remember reading they wanted to group the schedule better to reduce traveling as well for environmental reductions.

          2. In all fairness, many circuits were ruined in the 1990s following the Imola 1994 deaths
            of Senna and Ratzenberger. It was just a quick fix solution by a sport that found itself under the microscope as far as safety is concerned. Look at Barcelona, they seem to want to add a chicane at almost every corner there, but it is still on the calender. The first chicane at turn one at Monza is nowhere near as good as the original, but I suppose with these old circuits there is only so much you can do.

        2. I’d be more than happy if San Marino came back.

          I would. They changed the track in ’95, and although I preferred the precedent layout, it remains one of my favourite.

      2. I quite agree. Besides, the sensible thing would be to have alternate venues. Barca, Valencia (we know they are trying to get out of the contract anyway) and potentially a few other tracks could host. That would be a far better solution. Same thing for the UK, France, Germany… as long as the facilites are up to scratch why not?

        1. I like this idea just to have a little variety within the schedule. Alternate Barca and Valencia, Fuji and Suzuka, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

          Especially if two circuits in the same area are having trouble being profitable every year.

        2. OK, but Spa, Monza, Silverstone, Monaco, all the historic venues, can’t swap!

    4. It’s not clear how to actually create a new forum account, so I’ll have to leave an answer here and hope Eggry sees it.

      I’d say the McLaren in the trailer, from what we can see of it, is supposed to be an M7C.

      Always hard to tell as lots of photos on the web from that period are sometimes mistitled, and the various M7s all raced in numerous configurations, different forumulas, and rapidly mutated as all manner of wings sprouted.

      Here’s an M7C, 1969, correct car number, and has the same silver spurs on top off the front-suspension bracket that tips-off a later variant.

    5. there will be a “european” gp as long as bernie can extract more money out of an already-participating country. he’d love to hold a 2nd race at yas marina and call it the persian or arabian gp.

      ferrari wants to protect monza because of history, and because they know their cars perform well there.

      1. It could be that the calendar gets so full though that the European GP turns into a race that alternates between two countries, for example Spa and Nurburgring or something like that…

      2. I was wondering, at the start of every GP the home national anthem is played, so for the Valencian race held in Spain, raced as the European GP – did they play the Spanish anthem -‘La Marcha Real’ – or the anthem of Europe – ‘Ode to Joy?’

        1. Hi Calum,

          I don’t know what the precedent or standard is here but I remember at the European Grand Prix I went to that they played ‘Ode to Joy’…

        2. I’m 90% sure that they play “Ode to Joy” cause I remember listening to it (although not sure if it was in this year’S Valencia GP)

    6. there’s no way that sad little road can handle 100,000+ people on race day. whenever a new stadium is built, a new highway is almost a given. helmund is dreaming if he thinks they can save $6M by using that road as-is.

      1. yeah, that road looks barely big enough for a tractor.. and if they use that road it will end up kinda of like korea.

        at the motogp at phillip island they convert a single lane highway into a very tight 2lane highway, with it optimised in a specific direction.. it seems to work well, though the F1 at usa would be much larger than the motogp at australia..

      2. It’ll be fine. Everyone drives trucks and SUVs in the States anyway. We can just aggressively use the shoulder. And there isn’t much in terms of development in the surrounding area, we can off road in all directions!

      3. How does it work in London with the big football arenas? I mean Wembley is 90,000 and Arsenal have their 60,000 stadium in Islington – how on earth can sidestreets cope with getting cars out into the main roads – especially Wembley with spectators visiting from all over England? If movement of huge numbers of people at the same venue can be done in a city then the US organisers should have no problem in planning the infrastructure in an open wasteland!

        1. HounslowBusGarage
          16th December 2010, 19:12

          A large number of Wembley visitors use the Tube and overground trains as well as busses. There’s a network of roads and streets all around the stadium which seek to ‘soak up’ the fleeing fans. But that’s not to say it isn’t still very congested.
          No trains at Austin, and apparently only one road.

          1. I know how to solve the problem. Make it so the only way for spectators to get to the race is by bus. Have no onsite parking. Have 1000’s of shuttle buses from surrounding regions, running all day back and forwards to the track. Even close the road to all vehicles except buses, and vehicles with special permits. It’ll be faster, easier, and cheaper than having parking at the circuit.

    7. Having two GP in the same country isn’t good until & unless they are providing entertainment.They should strip Valencia & give that slot to some other European Country which is ready & have the capacity to hold a GP.France should get it,San Marino is not a bad option with modification,Austria have an interest in F1 & many will love to see a GP in Portugal in Algarve.

      1. Yes, Portugal would be the logical answer as many Spanish fans could still have a 2nd GP relatively close to them.

        1. There should not be a 2nd Grand Prix close to them. The GPs should be spread around, not concentrated anywhere.

      2. Once Alonso retires will there be any Spanish fans? And therefore any need for any races in Spain?

        1. There was a Spanish Grand Prix decades before Fernando Alonso showed up.

    8. I’ve gotta admit, the more I hear from Dany Bahar, the more I’m beginning to take his side. Perhaps all this support for Fernandes is to an extent just hearts overruling heads?

      The reality is that neither of them are Team Lotus, and at least Bahar seems prepared to accept that…

      1. Yea quite a smart, yet cunning approach from Bahar. People have taken Fernandes’ side given hes done a decent job, but those people were pretty skeptical when his plans were first unveiled. Bahar has avoided that whole situation by saying we are Lotus as a manufacturer and we want nothing to do with the Lotus of the past.

        I was against it when this all started but one must give Bahar credit regardless of your personal thoughts on it. He has done a good job of justifying their position.

        I think if people ignore their emotions when looking at the Lotus vs Lotus debacle it paints a rather different picture.

        1. Yes but then he goes and runs that ridiculous black and gold livery.

          1. To be honest, it actually looks pretty smart when you look at it for a second time, and don’t let you’re heart decide it’s horrible because of the way Lotus treated Team Lotus!!

            1. I don’t really agree, having seen some of the entries of the Lotus Racing livery competition.

              Aside from the success of the implementation of that livery, why use it at all, if you “don’t want to claim the heritage”, especially if their headquarters do, and while you mentioned that same legacy in interviews and material around the introduction of your new ranges of cars. I just don’t believe it, as it does not add up.

              But Bahar is a smart talker. However, having given a team a license for several years to use the Lotus name, to then turn around and say “oh, we want to do it ourselves now you proved it has merit” might be smart, it is not ethical.

              I don’t know the legal facts of course, but Fernandes clearly put a lot of effort into the team last year. Bahar is trying to take the results for himself without proper payment. Very F1 maybe, but not a team I want to support.

              Pity, I was looking forward to see where Kubica could get with Renault in the coming years.

            2. It would look great if the endplates were black, as it is it’s ghastly.

          2. yeah, i begin to take their side when they agree that they are unlike lotus of old.. but they run the old black and gold scheme..

      2. I definitely see where you are coming from there Ned.

        I do agree with you, but find it odd that the guy would then want to run the car livery as one of the most iconic Lotus livery’s from the past.

        If he didn’t want the association, they should have taken a different route with that.

      3. It seems that Danny Bahar and Group Lotus are now trying to win over the fans.

        Lotus Racing built up a lot of goodwill in their first year so, judging by the response on this site at least, most fans sided with them to start with.

        Group Lotus/Renault may have recently said they never tried to claim any of the Team Lotus F1 history but when the deal was officially announced Bahar said

        “We’re well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1 and I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position once and for all: we are Lotus and we are back.”

        Add to that the fact that they are planning to use the classic black and gold livery next season and what it says to me is that they initially did try to claim the Team Lotus F1 heritage but have changed tactics after seeing the response of fans.

        We will probably never know the whole details of what has really took place and why the obvious linkup of Group Lotus and Lotus Racing didn’t happen.

      4. I would agree if it weren’t for how far from Chapman’s spirit Bahar is. The old motto “simplify, then add lightness” has gone out the window. The planned new line of cars is not only heavy, they’re also quite ugly in my opinion. If they were getting into F1 to support a truly great line of cars in the tradition of Chapman I’d have an easier time getting behind them, but they’re not.

    9. Hey, is there anybody besides me that doesn’t like having six topics buried beneath one headline?
      You end up not knowing what might be buried beneath a given headline and the comments are all scrambled.
      At least call the headline “Miscellany”, “Random Shots” or something similar rather than pointing to one of six topics that are within.

      1. It’s the F1 Fanatic Round-Up. You can see it as the sub-heading. Keith just picks the most prominent article in it as the headline.

        1. Although there is a case there that the round-up is too merged in with the main content and also hard to spot now.

          I’ve been visiting the site for over a year or so now and the round-up used to be clearly marked out in a different column.

          If I were new to the site now I’d find it confusing too.

          The round-up is even harder to spot with the mobile site skin.

          1. I agree. Round-up used to show up as part of the title in the list of articles on the right. I miss that.

    10. Dear Texas GP Organisers,

      The one thing you obviously didn’t learn about F1 from the Elroy Gazette is that Bernie Ecclestone – or F1 as you refered to him as – is a greedy, greedy man – and as a restult he will not pay you to upgrade the road, He might, however, demand you pay him for the rights to upgrade said road.

      Your’s sincerely…..

      1. i think they might have been referring to tavo & company. either way, bad form from journalists. and you’re absolutely right – the only way to get anything out of bernie is to beat him over the head.

        1. Yeah the reporters really showed their lack of knowledge, Formula 1 has nothing to do with the situation in Austin. It’s simply a dispute between the circuit owners and the government authorities.

          I personally think the government authorities are right in this instance. Surely the track owners will be looking to have more than one major event at the circuit each year (as they need to make money), and setting up a temporary tidal / contra flow arrangement each time a major event is on isn’t going to cut the mustard.

          I’m also amazed that they think spending six million dollars on a road upgrade will solve the problem. Six million doesn’t buy a whole heap of road.

    11. Keith, I think they might want to go here instead for next year’s race! ;)

      1. Thanks! Changed the link.

    12. Craig Woollard
      16th December 2010, 9:49

      Bahar and Fernandes would have never teamed up anyway. They hate each other, simple as. As for the 1 race in 2 country thingy, can’t they just alternate, like Germany?

    13. Every country wants an F1 race track, but most of the times the tracks are utterly useless. I see no point in adding more tracks to the season if some of the existing ones cant produce decent races. These guys should have a sign in their offices that says ‘Lest we forget Donnington Park and USF1’.

    14. In my opinion the European GP should alternate between tracks each season. It is, after all, the GP for all of Europe, it is not the 2nd GP for Spain. At least alternate it between tracks that have some F1 history, Austria, France, San Marino that sort of thing. All accessible by fans from all over Europe.

      I wouldn’t be particularly upset if Valencia lose the European GP, it’s an awful track that produces awful races. Same with Catalunya. The Spanish GP should move to Motorland Aragon.

      1. I agree that the European GP should be shared around. The problem is that it is expensive to invest in a track for F1 when it is only hosting a GP every 4-5 years. Similar to the negotiations at Silverstone where the BRDC would only make the necessary investment if they were guaranteed the GP for x number of years.

      1. Damn, beaten to it :P. Although if true, I think it’s good news Legard is going but replacing him with Coulthard wouldn’t be a good idea; former racing drivers should be colour commentators supporting someone who can tell the ‘story’ of the race.

        1. HounslowBusGarage
          16th December 2010, 21:25

          Particularly if he is still part of the Red Bull set up – which I’m advised he is.

    15. I’ve never understood this thing about ‘one country cannot have two races’.

      As far as I’m concerned, unless the race is within striking distance (for me, either in the UK or in France/Benelux/western Germany) then they can all be in the same country as long as the tracks are good and the racing is interesting.

    16. The big question here should not be about having two grands prix in the same country but which grands prix Ecclestone will axe to make way for India, Russia, America etc etc? With Ecclestone doing a very decent Sepp Blatter impersonation in recent years by wanting to move the circus to pastures new, I fear that we will lose atleast three of the existing European venues if not more in the next three years.
      Other circuits around the world could be dropped such as Interlagos and Suzuka even, which is something very very few of us want I am sure. For instance, the Turkish Grands Prix for several years has been plagued with poor crowd attendances on race day, but the track itself is one of Tilke’s best most recent efforts. As for Valencia, I have never really seen the sense in it. It would be like having a grands prix around Tilbury docks, its soulless and almost depressing in its naffness.
      If any circuit deserves a comeback call it is the A1 Ring in Austria. On tv, with those long straights and undulations with the Alps as a backdrop looked gorgeous.
      I would loved to have gone to that event years ago.

    17. I find it funny that Stefano objects to countries having two races when the San Marino Grand Prix was little more than an excuse for Italy to have a second race. After all, Imola is not in San Marino.

      1. I think that’s EXACTLY what Stefano was referring to. He doesn’t see a San Marino GP happening again because the circuit is in Italy…

    18. So wait… Stefano is against having 2 races in the nation of their current numero uno?

      What gives?

    19. About the youtube clip. Come on burnie $6 mil is just a drop in your bucket

    Comments are closed.