Sebastian Vettel warns F1 about ‘horrible’ idea of losing more historic Grand Prixs

Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel has pleaded with F1 not to ditch the iconic race tracks that fans have come to know and love.

In 2020, Straight to the Grid named F1 the second-fastest-growing sports league on the planet. 103.7 million people tuned in for that season’s Hungarian Grand Prix, a 7% increase from the previous year. Furthermore, 72% of spectators believed that the experience of watching the highest standard of international racing for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars has drastically improved.

Consequently, they’ve begun doing bigger deals as they target new markets from around the globe. The 2022 season will welcome Miami to the 24 course GP calendar, and in 2023 Las Vegas and Qatar will become yearly destinations.

However, as they continue to develop their global audience, they’re saying goodbye to the locations that have become synonymous with the sport.

Fans are happy that Italy’s ‘Imola’ has bagged a new deal intending to 2025. But they are less than pleased that F1 has abandoned Germany in recent years. Furthermore, this season could mark the end for two more fan favourites. Both France and Belgium are out of contract at the end of the campaign.

This strategy could result in hardcore racing fanatics losing their interest in the sport. This prospect is profoundly concerning to one of the sport’s best drivers who’s advised F1 not to make a silly mistake.

Read: Toto Wolff claims ‘TV viewers don’t care’ where F1 races happen.

Sebastian Vettel warns F1

What the 34-year-old Vettel doesn’t know about racing isn’t worth knowing. He’s climbed the mountain on multiple occasions and is more than aware of the importance of keeping the hardcore fanatics happy.

In an interview with MotorSport Week, he said: “I think it’s always exciting to go to new places, providing they are good places, right places for us to be at.”

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He continued: “Obviously, we had an absence of racing in America, and then Austin came on the calendar, which was very exciting and established as a great race. Maybe another great example is Singapore. We’d never been there before, and now, you know, it’s great to be back this year. And, you know, the first night race, I think there’s something special about that track and that place. So it’s good to explore new sides.

“Obviously, you hope that all the new places you go to are an addition.

“Equally, you don’t want to lose out on the places you’ve gone to for so long. So it would be horrible to lose Melbourne from the calendar. It would be horrible to lose some of the tracks, the core tracks in Europe.”

The organisers are in a difficult position. They want to accommodate their original market. But to continue their development, they have to expand the competition around the globe. So to solve this problem, Vettel has suggested a rotational schedule.

The driver added: “But I think, yeah, for us, it’s a sport, it’s our passion. So we don’t see it as a business. I think we see it more as a sport, and yeah, places mean something because of the history they have or the tradition they have.

“It needs to be sort of a mixture between exploring, but also holding on to places that have history, a big fan base.

“I think it’s unimaginable to lose Italy, for example, off the calendar, for many reasons, even though they probably pay the least. But yeah, I think this is something we need to hold on to.”

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