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. RKU said on 9th April 2010, 9:57

    Amazing. It’s clear to see that Tilke tracks are pretty much universally disliked.

    The problem is that countries wanting to host an F1 race do so for political/economic reasons as opposed to the love for the sport. I’m sure there are passionate people involved in these new projects but all these new tracks (in terms of layout) lack taste.

    It’s odd how the Tilke tracks are created to artificially produce good racing, but somehow it’s the old tracks that produce the most interesting races. So it’s not just the cars and that aero problem, it’s track design.

    I say, don’t create a stop-start track, instead, create a track that flows, preferably on the side of a mountain for plenty of elevation, make it thin and conducive to mistakes, and aim to make the drivers fear the track but to enjoy almost every corner. If the drivers end up saying “this is amazing” then I guarantee you the fans will love it as well!

    • Lachie said on 9th April 2010, 10:15

      Yeah the problem is always going to be the FIA’s rules on new circuits.

      This could be a saving grace tho http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potrero_de_los_Funes_Circuit

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 9th April 2010, 10:25

        It won’t happen. The resurrection of the Argentine Grand Prix will only happen with the support of the Argentine government. Potrero de los Funes sits near San Luis, a regional seat that is held by the national opposition. The government won’t agree to have a race in territory controlled by the other side. The only hopes for the circuit are to either a) have the government win San Luis in the next election (though I’m told San Luis is the stronghold of the opposition party’s power; they’ve held it for decades) or b) have the government defeated and the opposition take control of the country and hope they’ll continue to support the Argentine Grand Prix.

        However, any plans for it suffered a major setback with the collapse of USF1. Before committing to an Argentine Grand Prix, the government in Buenos Aries wanted to see an Argentine driver, and they settled on Jose Maria Lopez. But with USF1 collapsing and Lopez returning home, it’s unlikely they’re going to get involved again without assurances, and Lopez’s relative obscurity in the motorsport community means it’s unlikely a Formula 1 team will approach him again.

        • ajokay said on 9th April 2010, 10:49

          All of which is a real shame, because to see F1 cars screaming around that lake would be a beautiful sight, and it looks different enough that it has potential to throw up some good racing.

        • hyoko said on 9th April 2010, 17:05

          My very favorite MotoGP track is Laguna Seca, I believe there has never been a F1 GP there, but there should be. The corkscrew turn is absolutely unique and should be a real challenge for the drivers.

          • R.E.M. said on 9th April 2010, 22:03

            Laguna Seca is too short and too narrow for Formula 1.

            In fact it was too short and too narrow for CART in the 90’s.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th April 2010, 9:22

            Too narrow, yes, but too short? No way. Short tracks mean more traffic and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

          • tralfamadore said on 10th April 2010, 12:52

            Maybe if they would widen it a little…

          • akiko said on 10th April 2010, 13:13

            It was made longer in 1988 hoping it could host the 89 US GP, but it went to Phoenix, which was a failure btw

    • tralfamadore said on 10th April 2010, 13:05

      “the Tilke tracks are created to artificially produce good racing…”

      Artificial? So, what’s so natural about the old tracks? Did Monza or Spa grow out from a tree?

  2. Daffid said on 9th April 2010, 10:01

    Are we taking bets yet on which will actually go.
    I reckon Hungary.
    And Germany and Belgium will be offered some sort of race every 2 years deal.
    Valencia might go, although with Fernando in a Ferrari, probably not.
    Once India starts will he give up on China at last?

  3. Remco H said on 9th April 2010, 10:10


  4. ajokay said on 9th April 2010, 10:14

    Hungary, Bahrain, Valencia, Barcelona, China.

    Turkey just about holds on, and we’ve only had 1 race at Abu Dhabi, so it’s too early to judge. Plus it wasn’t all that bad.

  5. PJA said on 9th April 2010, 10:14

    Well I don’t think any country should routinely have two races, so Valencia was my first pick, the fact that it hasn’t provided a decent race probably would have made it my first choice anyway.

    The Catalunya circuit doesn’t really seem to provide good races either but I would like a GP in Spain.

    It would be unfair to vote for South Korea as it hasn’t hosted a GP yet, but it wouldn’t have been near the top of my list of countries to visit.

    There are some tracks which I don’t mind having a race but they are so poorly attended it is hard to justify their place on the calendar, such as Turkey.

    There are also places like Hungary which usual provide dull races but I don’t mind hosting a GP.

    Assuming we are aiming for a 20 race calendar I choose Valencia, Bahrain and Hungary. To be replaced by USA, Russia and South Africa, and probably some more changes in future too.

  6. Robert McKay said on 9th April 2010, 10:16

    Pretty much most of the Tilke ones can be dropped for me. Valencia at the top, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Singapore in that order – all rubbish. Turkey is great for Turn 8 but is not the modern day Spa it was initially lauded as, the good races there dried up quickly, and the crowds are abysmal, so maybe I wouldn’t cry if it was cut.

    Shanghai is not a fantastic circuit but it rains a reasonable amount there, quite a few wet races, and the slightly-banked corner onto mega-long back straight is reasonable for passing, plus turn 1/2 is actually a little bit different. Keep, for me, just about.

    I think somehow Sepang actually looks quite good in comparison to some of these newer ones (is Tilke getting worse, or am I just used to Sepang more…), so definitely keep it.

    The sad thing is I would have once said Hungaroring is the worst track/race…but it’s ahead of quite a few races now for me (including Catalunya, which has been dreadful the last few years and does not need that silly little chicane near the end of the lap).

    But the whole thing is academic, we’re dropping Tilke circuits (bad) for what will inevitably be Tilke street races (even worse).

    Welcome to a frying pan/fire interface scenario.

  7. Antifia said on 9th April 2010, 10:17

    All of Tilke’s borefest contributions – especially Abu Dhabi

  8. Gwenouille said on 9th April 2010, 10:17

    I voted for Barhein, Valencia and Singapore.
    I don’t like street circuits at all. In fact I almost voted for Monaco, but it is such a legend that I left it safe…
    Spa , Monza, Suzuka, Monaco, Silverstone and Interlagos HAVE to stay.

  9. KMcD said on 9th April 2010, 10:18

    Went for Silverstone, Valencia, Bahrain and China. Four boring tracks I’d love to see the back of.

    Bring back Estoril & Buenos Aires!

  10. James_mc said on 9th April 2010, 10:22

    I don’t think Bahrain would have had so many votes if there hadn’t been that stinker last month.

    I don’t like China, mainly because it is too similar to Sepang. Now perhaps if they were further apart on the calendar I would be less inclined, but the sea of empty grandstands do F1 no favours.

    If China and Turkey are such amazing race tracks, some smart circuit developer (or a dim one encouraged by Smeagol) should re-create some of these features. Lets face it, Tilke normally gets a flat featureless piece of land to work on, you could easily recreate the goood features of these circuits.

    Anway enough rambling; Bahrain – why the extra bit? China/Turkey – one turn each, no fans (Turn 2/3 and 8 respectively) and no fans, Valencia…. 4 overtakes in 2 seasons…..

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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