Which races should Ecclestone cut? (Poll)

Which venues should F1 keep going to?

Which venues should F1 keep going to?

Bernie Ecclestone has said F1 can “afford to lose” certain rounds to make way for races in New York and Russia – two venues he’s been trying to get on the F1 calendar for decades. He told Autocar:

We?re going to lose some races for sure, there are some races we can afford to lose without too much problem. I?ve spoken to the countries to see what we can come up with.
Bernie Ecclestone

I suspect fans may differ with him on which F1 races should get the chop – so let’s put it to a vote…

South Korea joins the championship as a 19th round this year and India could make a largest-ever calendar with 20 races in 2011. Rome is also in the queue and Ecclestone has been talking about races in New York and Russia once again, though there’s nothing new about that.

Which rounds would you drop from the world championship? Pick as many as you like from the poll below and have your say in the comments.

Which races would you drop from the F1 calendar?

  • Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir (65%)
  • Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne (1%)
  • Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang (7%)
  • Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai (21%)
  • Spanish Grand Prix, Catalunya (16%)
  • Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo (3%)
  • Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul (30%)
  • Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal (1%)
  • European Grand Prix, Valencia (60%)
  • British Grand Prix, Silverstone (2%)
  • German Grand Prix, Hockenheimring / N???rburgring (3%)
  • Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring (27%)
  • Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps (1%)
  • Italian Grand Prix, Monza (1%)
  • Singapore Grand Prix, Singapore (19%)
  • Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka (2%)
  • Korean Grand Prix, Jeonnam (13%)
  • Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos (1%)
  • Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Island (29%)

Total Voters: 5,202

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410 comments on Which races should Ecclestone cut? (Poll)

  1. James said on 9th April 2010, 10:25

    Bahrain, China and Hungary.

    Bahrain is just boring as hell. The only reason it is there is because of the money that trades hands and lines Bernie’s pockets.

    China because it is too boring, on the whole. There has been a little bit of action there, but nothing note worthy. The Chinese people dont seem to bothered about the event either. In recent years they’ve been shipping in local students just to make the appear more full. They’ve also turned a massive grandstand into a massive advertising board as a result of poor attendences

    I’ve also voted Hungary. I dont really like the track and there isnt a large amount of exciting racing there in recent times. Like China, a few good moments but boring on the whole.

  2. I went for Bahrain, Barcelona, and Valencia.

  3. perveze7 said on 9th April 2010, 10:26

    valencia n bahrain. I beleive abudhabi is one of the best f1 n should continue holding the f1 races

  4. Andrey said on 9th April 2010, 10:26

    I like Nurburgring! it’s fantastick track!
    But hate new short Hockenheimring.
    Please split them in the poll.

  5. Sumedh said on 9th April 2010, 10:27

    Give Abu Dhabi more than one chance. Likewise, Bahrain was pretty spectacular in 2006 and 2009.

    I only voted for Valencia. Frankly, Formula One is the most relaxed sport there ever is. Just 20 days of racing? That is less 40 hours over 1 year. Expand the calendar. Don’t remove and replace races.

    I would be glad if the F1 calendar was increased to 25-30 races per year. It will be a logistical nightmare for the teams, but if F1 has to become more popular in new countries (like India) we need to have more F1-related articles in the local newspapers and more awareness.

    A sport that comes to life only once a fortnight and that too on a Sunday fortnight is unlikely to become globally popular anytime soon.

    • Sumedh said on 9th April 2010, 10:33

      I meant Sunday afternoon, not Sunday fortnight.

      • tombo said on 9th April 2010, 11:40

        it is globally popular! only football and cricket (which is only followed in a tiny number of countries) have greater followings. also, F1 is the ambassador for other motorsport, so you get a trickle down effect whereby people start following local motorsport.

        • Sumedh said on 9th April 2010, 13:08

          I doubt F1 is that popular. China and India (with a combined population of 40% of the world) have negligible popularity. The crowds at Shanghai race have been lesser and lesser every year.

          USA is not covered by the F1 market.

          If F1 is strong anywhere, it is just Europe and South America.

          Although, the picture is changing now. It needs to change faster. In early 2000s / late 1990s, we used to have just 15 races and just 4 flyaways in the entire season (USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia).
          Thankfully, we now have 4 flyaways at the start, another 4 at the end.

          But there need to be more. F1 cannot rely on Europe alone to become bigger.

          If F1 is to become more stronger and solid (F1 was the hardest hit sport by the economic crisis of 2008), it must become less lazy and have more and more races, in as many places as possible.

          • PJA said on 9th April 2010, 13:49

            Fly away races you forgot from the late 1990s and early 2000s were Japan and Argentina which last had a GP in 1998.

            And if you included the early 1990s there was also Mexico and South Africa.

    • The logistical problem can be easily reduced. Race calendar should be made the way that races are close to each other. Let’s say, start in Australia, then Malaysia and Singapore, Japan, Korea, China, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Spain (both races), Turkey, Italy, Monaco, Hungary, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada and Brazil. That would be much easier and cheaper for the teams, and also for journalists, TV crews, fans who go to many races etc.

      • Robert McKay said on 9th April 2010, 14:31

        Yes but you generally need to account for other factors as well. Local weather/seasons, customs/immigration, amongst other things. So I think it ends up making more sense to have a flyaway tour at the start and the end and the European season in the middle.

        Undoubtedly a few races can be better organised, or “twinned”, though.

        On your calendar the two Spanish rounds together would benefit noone in terms of crowds, I don’t think…

        • halfcolours said on 10th April 2010, 3:04

          Logically it makes sense to do the road trip – europe – back on the road sequencing because by the main time for in season development (granted now allot less of it) has been across that middle section with teams moving to consolidating there car and developing for next year in that later half of the season. basically they are in europe right when the major changes are happening and hopefully all done and dusted to put the team on the road again at the end of the season.

  6. firefly said on 9th April 2010, 10:28

    My picks were: Valencia, Bahrain, Catalunya and maybe Hungrary. These we picked on the basis of processional races, where these tracks allow minimal overtaking given it is a sunny day. I would have said turkey, but that track is actually one of tilke’s better tracks which ACTUALLY provided overtaking and included the infamous turn 8, the only problem is it lacks atmosphere. Abu dhabi would’ve been on my list aswell, but too much money has been spent on the track for it not to be on the F1 calendar. I think this race would be more suited as the race after australia/malaysia/china rounds or move it in front of brazil, not the final race of the season. They should give the Finale back to interlagos, they certainly know how to create atmoshpere.

    • iBlaze said on 9th April 2010, 13:20

      I picked the same 4 tracks – Valencia, Bahrain, Spain, Hungary – reasoning as follows:

      Valencia – dull dull dull, the racing isn’t good, the track isn’t good, it’s just dull.

      Bahrain – usually processional, but this year just cemented that even more.

      Spain – unfortunately used as a test track way too much for there to ever be good races there.

      Hungary – there never has been any overtaking and probably never will, especially as it’s never wet either (with 06 the exception).

      Others I considered were China, Turkey, Abu Dhabi and Singapore, however:

      China – although very boring in the dry, it tends to be wet a lot there and therefore provides good races (I think 3-3 for wet/dry races atm).

      Turkey – As firefly said, one of the better Tilke tracks. This has overtaking and some memorable corners and that rare thing in a Tilke track – GRADIENT!

      Abu Dhabi – I refuse to judge a track based on one race alone. Even Spa has had the occasional dull race, so let’s wait and see (apparently Asian GP2 here was great). The track itself is ok and the sunset racing/hotel is a novelty.

      Singapore – I like the night race, street circuit novelty although (take note Mr. Ecclestone!) variety is the spice of life, the attraction is the difference from other circuits so I don’t want anymore duplicates.

      • Icthyes said on 9th April 2010, 15:15

        Hungary – there never has been any overtaking and probably never will

        Hamilton on Webber last year? Admittedly KERS-assisted, but that was to close the gap; the actual overtake was around Turn 3. One of Hamilton’s best overtakes, he frightened Webber into screwing up the exit of the last corner and then sized him up and pounced.

  7. wasiF1 said on 9th April 2010, 10:37

    I voted for Valencia & Turkey.
    Valencia is not a good track at all & the two races had trouble attracting spectator.
    Turkey is a good track but same trouble only 36,000 attended last year.

    I don’t know why 151 people voted Hungary? it’s true that may not be a good track but the race was never short of drama & action.

    & who are the fellows voted Spa-Francorchamps, Melbourne, Interlagos, Monza & why??

    • wasiF1 said on 9th April 2010, 10:54

      I missed this,

      How good will be the Indian GP? the track is designed by Tilke & most of his designed race tracks are been voted.

  8. George said on 9th April 2010, 10:39

    The last race of the season should be an endurance race. And it should be at Indianapolis

  9. I voted for Shanghai, Sakhir, Catalunya, Valencia, Singapore and Korea. I know how much fans there are in Spain, but those two races are almost always boring :(

    • David A said on 9th April 2010, 15:37

      They could look to the numerous other circuits in Spain like Jerez or the other circuit in Valencia. About 3/4 the races in Moto GP seem to be in Spain, so they could uswe one of hthose.

    • VXR said on 9th April 2010, 15:39

      Korea? We haven’t even been there yet! ;)

  10. Cyclops said on 9th April 2010, 10:48

    Someone must have had a blackout when he or she voted Silverstone and Monaco. Come on?!

    • Lotus 49 said on 10th April 2010, 16:59

      Well I didnt vote for either, but I can see why someone would.

      Monaco is only interesting if your primary interest in motorsport is looking at glamorous people or watching cars hit walls.

      Silverstone is a great circuit to drive, but terrible as a spectator, and doesnt usually produce exciting racing unless the great British weather interferes.

  11. Valencia, Bahrain, China, Hungary and Abu Dhabi can all go.

    I may have been a bit harsh on China and Abu Dhabi, but the other 3 don’t deserve their place on the calendar in terms of the tracks… But thats not what it’s about at the moment…

  12. silencer said on 9th April 2010, 10:53

    why not just keep all track.

    Add New York and Moscow doesn’t mean certain tracks must be drop from the calendar

    and yes I have to agree that each country can only host 1 race; if there’s a need to drop out certain tracks just pick among the country that host 2 races

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 10th April 2010, 4:52

      Bernie has said that 20 races is the maximum manageable.

      • wasiF1 said on 10th April 2010, 8:32

        I don’t knoiw what is Bernie is thinking but way back in 1981 we used to have 15 races ( from that year I think all races were counted to the championship) still some 20 years later the number of races have just increased to 5. I think in the future as we don’t have any in season testing we should have around 22-25 races per season.

        • Prisoner Monkeys said on 10th April 2010, 10:31

          Becuase there’s only so many races that are maangeable. It’s very expensive for the teams to keep jetting around, and the more races there are, the less time they have to test and develop next year’s cars.

          • wasiF1 said on 12th April 2010, 2:18

            but how would they manage to travel around the world when there were in season testing?
            Didn’t that cost them anything?

          • The big teams at least had separate test teams, so it was usually completely different people going racing and testing, and it did cost them a lot which is the main reason testing is now restricted.

            I remember a while ago a team principle, possibly Ron Dennis, said that if there were many more races during a season than what we currently have teams would have to have another set of race mechanics etc as the same people wouldn’t be able to go to every race, and you may ask why this can’t happen but with cost cutting and restrictions on the number of people a team can employ this would not be possible.

  13. JediJames said on 9th April 2010, 10:57

    All of the tracks would be better if the aero performance was reduced. Then a faster/better/braver driver could take a different line and overtake using mechanical performance.
    Just a different way of looking at why tracks are boring.

  14. MacLeod said on 9th April 2010, 11:00

    I would love to see F1 returns to Zandvoort as the European Grandprix… sniff memories there sniff..

    I should have vote three instead of one but Valencia should go

  15. Ben said on 9th April 2010, 11:03

    I voted for Bahrain, Valencia and Hungary.

    For me they don’t provide much action throughout the race.

    Would love to see a F1 race in New York.
    Like on Gran Turismo or Forza.

  16. Edu said on 9th April 2010, 11:04

    For me Valencia is the worst race in the calendar.

    • Younger Hamilton said on 9th April 2010, 12:03

      To be Honest i reason i never voted Valencia was because its a street circuit and i Love street circuits especially Monaco,which is just legend and will never be took off by anyone whoever voted for Monaco,Silverstone and Spa are completely stupid and crazy

  17. James Brickles said on 9th April 2010, 11:07

    I’m actually surprised many have voted for the Hungaroring. There is really only one fault with that track and thats the turn 6/7 chicane (It really is a gap creator between cars). Other than that, the track is rather good to watch and would have good racing, weren’t it for that chicane!

  18. TMFOX said on 9th April 2010, 11:08

    Bahrain: If they can use one of the other layouts then I’d say keep it.

    Chinese: Has had little impression. Needs improvement

    European: Just get rid. It’s a novelty track

    Hungarian: Difficult choice. It’s the only track I’ve ticked that offers something and has proven itself over the last 20+ years.

    Singapore: Poor layout, Novelty track… only claim to fame is that the race is ran at night

    Abu Dhabi: Same as Singapore… the scenery is more impressive than the circuit.

    Didn’t vote for it but the German Grand Prix? Never been so sure about Hockenheim and the newer first corner section at the Nurburgring has never looked right. Does anyone know of any other noteworthy German tracks that could possibly be used?

    I’d give Imola another chance. The long straight that now exists before the start/finish line looks interesting.

    Paul Ricard would be another good choice. It’s sitting there good and ready and doesn’t need anything doing to it.

    Watkins Glen would be a good choice for returning the racing to the USA

    Also… why not throw in Adelaide as a second Australian venue? That is a proper street circuit.

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 9th April 2010, 12:49

      Sorry, but Paul Ricard (a.k.a. Le Castellet) needs a HUGE amount doing to it. When it closed in 1990, all the spectator facilities were removed. At the moment it can only accommodate about 4,000 spectators!
      It doesn’t have pit (only 12 of them), paddock and media centre up to modern standards either.

      • Lachie said on 9th April 2010, 13:28

        Funny thing with regard to the spectators is that a lot of people will say its not all that important people don’t show up to Turkey or China cos most people will watch it on TV. But talk about a track where people will go (like in France), and the lack of grandstands is a huge issue.

        Seems to me we should either have tracks where a big turnout is close to the top priority OR have tracks anywhere we like as we’ll all watch it on TV

        • TMFOX said on 9th April 2010, 21:15

          Okay.. point taken. But since the actual track itself is up to scratch all that would need to be done is grandstands, paddock and media centre.

          Surely it would be more cost effective than picking somewhere and building a new track from scratch?

          • Lachie said on 10th April 2010, 2:37

            Yeah I completely agree, Paul Ricard looks like the track itself is perfectly ready with its miles of runoff. My feeling is that obviously you need pits for the cars so do those up and then fix up the media facilities and you’re done. Leave the grandstands and let everyone watch it on TV. Thats an even greener solution than Doningtons park-here-and-take-a-tram service.

  19. sorry for all you Monza fans but If they changed it abit to suit other cars that dont have tons of top speed I wouldn’t have to vote for it. To me it’s basically a Nascar circuit with a speed trap and other corners going the other way sometimes, It’s like an old Hockenheim which i dislike because it’s just easy work for the drivers.

    Valencia, Bahrain to be axed and Monza to be changed.

    Let me get my hard hat on before the rocks start to be thrown at me.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th April 2010, 11:31

      I appreciate differences of opinion but I have to tell you that on Monza you are completely and utterly wrong!

      The speed is the very thing which makes it a vital part of F1. The calendar is desperately short of variety and although we call Spa a high-speed track it’s nothing compared to Monza.

      Maximum speeds at Monza are around 350kph – few other circuits see more than 315kph.

      We need tracks that test cars to different extremes – very fast tracks, very slow tracks, long and short, bumpy and smooth, track and street.

      If only they could make some more room for run-off so they could drop the chicanes and have a proper, slipstreaming thriller of a race like they had up until 1971. I see Audi tested there recently without using the first chicane (Rettifilio), blasting flat-out around Curva Grande. What a thrill it would be to see F1 cars doing the same.

      Speed alone makes Monza special. And that’s before you consider the history, the passionate crowd, the beautiful parkland setting and everything else that makes it one of F1’s best races.

      Thankfully Ecclestone had the sense not to try to elbow it off the calendar to make way for a street track in Rome.

      • I don’t believe someone suggested slowing down Monza :)

        Part of the Monza appeal is that fact to get the top speed, the teams strip off downforce. This makes the drivers work harder and the cars slide all over the place. It’s a win-win situation right there.

        • David B said on 9th April 2010, 12:30

          I regret the old and hot “Fast European season”: Paul Ricard, Silverstone, Hockenheim, Zeltweg, Zandvoort and Monza.
          Silverstone was just straights and fast (and difficult) corners. Zeltweg was so great, also.
          I think we miss some of this kind of tracks.

          • Robert McKay said on 9th April 2010, 12:51

            I agree that it’s ridiculous Monza has become the one true “high speed” venue on the calendar. The person/people before who said to return Hockenheim to it’s former state, I agree with that too.

            Plus, build in one more modern but properly high-speed venue, preferably with very few turns (like Monza), and we could have a nice little mid-season high speed trio of events.

            Too many medium speed circuits with far too many corners nowadays.

        • David A said on 9th April 2010, 17:27

          Monza must stay, I remember the so-called “tea-tray” rear wings they used to run a few years ago :)

      • “We need tracks that test cars to different extremes – very fast tracks, very slow tracks, long and short, bumpy and smooth, track and street.”

        fair comment keith.

        It all just looks too roundish for me and I’ve never really enjoyed watching Monza in the past. yer it’s great that the cars can stretch their legs and show what’s under the hood that is a positive, but for me it’s like something is missing and just a few corners leading off somewhere else to make it less “oval” would make it even better I think. I’m not trying to say bulldoze the whole thing just……I can’t describe it tbh, make it “MORE” then just Monza is what I’m trying to get across.

  20. SiY said on 9th April 2010, 11:10

    Valencia – Awful track, terrible setting, and we already had a Spanish GP (albeit a perenially boring one). No chance this will disappear from the calendar while Alonso is in a competitive Ferrari.

    Istanbul – The track is fairly interesting, and there’s more scope for overtaking than at quite a few others, but F1 wouldn’t miss Turkey and vice-versa. We may or may not be saying the same thing about South Korea in a year or two, but for the moment I’m quite interested to see how that works out. Turkey might well disappear from the calendar unless the government there really wants to keep the race.

    Bahrain – Again, it’s hosted some interesting races (more so than China, say), but from the point of view of F1’s search for global coverage, getting into America or Russia is more important than having a second race in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi gets the benefit of the doubt from me. Realistically, no chance that either desert race will lose its contract.

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