F1 Might Abandon Some European Races To Chase Money Instead Of Attendance

F1 Might Abandon Some European Races To Chase Money Instead Of Attendance

Formula 1’s extremely deep roots are firmly planted in continental Europe, but the sport’s organizers are dangerously close to trimming those roots back in order to push the sport further into developing markets. The current contracts for many of the series’ most iconic tracks — including Spa-Francorchamps (above), Zandvoort, Imola, Monza, and Monaco — run out next season. While it’s unlikely that they’ll all go un-renewed, F1 boss Stefano Domenicali hinted to Motorsport that some of them could move to a rotating schedule.

“That is a year where there will be a lot of grands prix, mainly in Europe, where we have different options that we can take,” said Domenicali. “I think Madrid shows one thing that was very important for us, to see that the attention of F1 is there, also in the old continent, where everyone was thinking, ‘Oh, you know, we need to move out of Europe, because there’s not anymore the interest.’ But we showed the opposite.

“I think in ‘26, you’re going to see something interesting. We are discussing with other promoters in Europe to do something that will be announced soon.

“I think as always when we take the decision with regard to the renewal, there are a lot of elements that we need to consider,” he said. “First of all, of course, the financial aspect is relevant, no doubt.”

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Over the last couple of decades, Formula 1 has been expanding its calendar from just 16 rounds in 2003 to a massive 24 rounds this year, with most of that expansion coming in the form of new rounds in North America and the Middle East. It’s likely that Monaco will continue to find a spot on the calendar, despite being the worst race of the season, and the Tifosi would riot if Monza was scrapped. That leaves the two Benelux region races at Spa and Zandvoort, and Imola in a state of relative threat.

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According to Motorsport’s reporting, the likely move for F1 is to push the Belgian and Dutch rounds to share a date, alternating every other year. There is talk of bringing a race back to South Korea, and likewise seeking further new circuits to explore. The recently-revamped Kyalami circuit in South Africa is also ripe for the picking, and would see F1 return to the African continent for the first time since 1993.