F1 Calendar: Hockenheim and Kyalami among tracks battling for 2024 slot

Next year’s F1 calendar could see a shake-up in the form of a blast from the past. Germany’s Hockenheim and Kyalami in South Africa are both reportedly in contention for a slot in the 2024 schedule.

Under Formula 1’s current agreement with teams, the calendar can stretch to a maximum of 25 rounds. 2023 sees 23 races across the globe; this would have been 24 if not for the cancellation of the Chinese GP.

However, the F1 circus is heading back to Shanghai next year – meaning there could be at least one more spot available on the calendar. Alternatively, management seems to prefer to stay at 24 races and replace an existing track.

When speaking to Sky Sports, the sport’s president, Stefano Domenicali, refused to rule out the possibility of replacing circuits – even the famous ones.

“Today, the money is huge, but we need to protect the quality of the events and the sport,” explained the Italian. “When ‘historical’ is only connected to looking behind, that is a problem. But when ‘historical’ is a value, if you are focused on developing the sport for the future, it’s a great value.

“That’s our duty, to make sure of that. For example, Monza is an incredible place, but they need to make sure [they invest in] the future infrastructure, in services for the fans.”

This approach will be of concern to the Belgian Grand Prix. Spa Francorchamps’ deal with F1 expires after this season. So, their slot could become available. And there are plenty of suitors queuing up to join the party.

Hockenheim, Kyalami show intent to get back on F1 calendar

Ironically, two competitors to get onto the F1 calendar are historic circuits in their own right. Firstly, Kyalami hosted the South African Grand Prix for 18 years from 1967-1985. It then returned briefly with a revised layout in the 1990s but has been absent since.

In fact, Formula 1 has not been to Africa since Kyalami – something the sport is keen to change.

According to GP Blog, a return to South Africa could be on the horizon. Although the circuit is still securing a promoter, they remain “hopeful” that Kyalami could host a Grand Prix in 2024.

Hockenheim in Germany is another track vying to make a comeback. Previously a regular fixture on the calendar, the track last hosted a Grand Prix in 2019. Hockenheim’s managing director, Jorn Teske, confirmed that talks are underway with F1 management. However, he explained that a deal would have to make sense financially.

“We stand by our opinion that a Formula 1 race should not ruin us,” said Teske, via Sportsmole. “In this respect, one has to look for ways of reconciling the various interests.”

He, therefore, suggested that an alternating calendar spot would be better.

“I think it’s a very good idea to have an alternating solution. I can understand that F1 wants variety in its calendar. And on the other hand, we would only tie up the enormous resources needed to host F1 every two years whilst retaining the status of an F1 circuit. In that respect, it is absolutely ideal.”

 With Formula 1’s recent expansions into new markets in Asia and the US, maybe a return to historic settings will be more popular with fans. But are there any tracks at risk in the future?

Circuits whose deals expire soon

The aforementioned Spa is the most at-risk venue of losing its spot in Formula 1. Organisers are still optimistic that they can get a renewal sorted, though.

Meanwhile, a trio of tracks could be under threat by the end of the 2024 season. These are Suzuka (Japan), Baku (Azerbaijan), and Silverstone (Great Britain). All of these circuits have F1 deals that expire at the next campaign’s completion.

Of course, that still leaves plenty of time in which to broker a deal with the sport’s management. But with more demand comes increased fees.

In addition, more and more countries are pushing to host a race. For instance, Malaysia and the Sepang International Circuit wish to make a comeback. Vietnam, which was due to host a race in 2020, would also like to actually deliver a long-awaited GP. Even in the UK, audacious plans for a street race in London could put Silverstone under threat.

During his time leading Formula 1, Stefano Domenicali has shown that he is not afraid to break tradition. With this in mind, the F1 calendar could see sweeping changes in the years ahead.

Featured image credit: Getty