Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Istanbul Park, 2020

Verstappen: F1 should drop some tracks to make way for “old-school” circuits

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen says Formula 1 should remove some of the current rounds on the calendar to make way for more “old-school” tracks like those which were added this year.

Earlier this week a record 23 races were confirmed on the 2021 F1 calendar. The venue of one of those rounds is yet to be announced.

Five new tracks were added to this year’s calendar when it was reorganised following the Covid-19 pandemic. None of those have yet been confirmed on next year’s schedule, but Verstappen said there are several he would like to return to.

“We have had a few good races. Portimao was cool, I just hope we have a bit more grip if we would ever come back there.

“Imola was nice, I think the track was very old-school. Nurburgring I also enjoyed so there are actually a few which could replace some grands prix we have on the calendar.”

Vettel is concerned the pandemic will affect next year too
Verstappen said any new races should come at the expense of venues already on the calendar.

“I would go for Imola,” he said. “It’s a bit more old-school, you are running with some corners all the way up to the gravel so if you would go too wide you’re off. Mugello was nice as well.

“But like I said it’s better to remove maybe a few of the ones we have now and then add these back in.”

The continued expansion of the calendar has prompted fears it may reach saturation point and some fans will be unwilling to watch so many races. However Sebastian Vettel said he is more concerned about the effect the long schedule will have on team members.

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“We have a large following, not just on track, but also on on the screens. And at some point, obviously, you saturate and people probably don’t want to see another Formula 1 race on the weekend.

“But that’s not for me really to think about. I think far more important is whether the teams will be able to make 23 races because it’s quite a bit of an effort. It’s not just the one and a half hours you see on the Sunday, it’s a lot more work behind the scenes.”

Vettel added he hopes the championship is able to begin as planned next year if the pandemic can be brought under control by then.

“The other [thing] even before that is what type of beginning of the season we will have and how long the situation around the pandemic will last. I think that will dictate also next year’s calendar and probably at least the start of the season.

“But we all hope that by then we are back to normal, people are allowed to come to the races, et cetera, and we can focus on the racing again.”

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2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “Verstappen: F1 should drop some tracks to make way for “old-school” circuits”

  1. I say we have a budget cap on what the circuits are forced to pay for hosting a race. Level the playing field. That way better circuits also get a chance of hosting a race and not only the ones in countries where shady regimes have deep enough pockets.

  2. The chances of this have never been any more slim with the huge losses Liberty suffered due to the pandemic. Real shame.

  3. Going back to old style circuits is only possible if all parties in F1 are willing to accept less money. Since nobody is (inluding the drivers I presume), this is not going to happen. Seems a bit silly to discuss it, without accepting the consequences.

    1. But their feelings come first, not financial viability.

  4. Brands Hatch anyone, would be epic

  5. Certainly part of the appeal of IndyCar. Better racing and more interesting “old school” tracks. Hopefully we see Max at the Indy 500 someday.

    1. I would love to see F1 at Road America some day! Seeing that track and Laguna Seca come back to the Indy series recently was really fantastic. I believe that IndyCar will keep attracting better and better drivers because of great tracks like those being added while taking away the more insane of the current ovals. I love F1, but Indy is different enough because it is a spec series that it should attract the type of drivers who want a chance to compete in very evenly matched gear. I imagine that we will soon be seeing the likes of Kmag, Kyvat, and maybe even Perez in the next few years. (hopefully not too soon in the case of Checo!)

  6. Turkey is my preference concerning a possible replacement for Vietnam.

  7. Imola absolutely be a part of the calendar. Fingers crossed this Rio proposition falls through completely, losing Interlagos for another Tilke-drome is unacceptable.

    I hope Vietnam doesn’t get back on the calendar either, it’s basically another Sochi. Soul less concrete barrier lined borefest. Looks like a Formula E circuit.

  8. some venues to remove from the 2021 list then..
    9 May – Spain (Barcelona)*
    7 June – France (Le Castellet)
    26 September – Russia (Sochi)
    5 December – Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi)
    Not sure about jeddah ..
    So plenty of room for old school tracks..

    1. I think Max is correct and I pretty much agree that these should be the circuits they should consider removingfrom the calendar. Especially Sochi which is awful and Jeddah. I am very concerned that they are going to race in Saudi.

      I cannot see this happening though in reality. We might get one of the new/old 2020 circuits on the calendar over the next season or two though if we’re lucky.

    2. Maybe add Silverstone, quite boring too

  9. I love the idea but can see which way the world is going so will not be expecting the calendar to feature a large number of old-school tracks. I do however wish that the European Grand Prix title could be rotated around a pool of eg five or six classic tracks so we at least get one such track each year.

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