After seeing this BBC article, I decided I would check the contract lengths of the current crop of races, to see which ones we were likely to lose as the new ones were introduced, working to a limit of 20, which Bernie himself has seemingly imposed. The list below shows when each race is currently contracted until (as far as I could see with a quick Google):
Races contracted until, or beyond, 2014
Bahrain (2016) – Bahrain International Circuit
Australia (2015) – Albert Park
Spain (2016) – Circuit de Catalunya
Canada (2014) – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
European Grand Prix (2014) – Valencia Street Circuit
Britain (2018) – Silverstone
Germany (2018) – Hockenheimring
Hungary (2016) – Hungaroring
Italy (2016) – Autodrome Nazionale Monza
Korea (2016) – Korean International Circuit
Brazil (2015) – Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace (Interlagos)
Abu Dhabi (2016) – Yas Marina Circuit
India (2011 start, contracted until 2021)
US (2012 start)
Russia (2014 start)
This therefore, leaves us with the following list of circuits/races which don’t have a long term F1 contract:
No long-term contract
Malaysia (2011) – Sepang International Circuit
China (2011) – Shanghai International Circuit
Turkey (2011) – Istanbul Park
Belgium (2012) – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Singapore (2012) – Marina Bay Street Circuit
Japan (2012) – Suzuka Circuit
Looking at this list, we can see that most of the venues which appear to be at risk of being lost from the F1 calendar are not European venues, contrary to Bernie’s suggestion in the BBC interview where he said 20 would be the maximum number races on the calendar. I would guess that, for 2014, where we have 16 contracted races, we would hold onto the Malaysian, Belgian, Japanese, and Singaporean events, as they are popular, exciting, or both. Therefore, by my logic, we are likely to see the demise of the fairly spectator-unfriendly Turkish Grand Prix, and the loss-making Chinese Grand Prix. Would they be missed? Certainly I think there would be less backlash about losing these venues than many of the popular European races.
Of course, this is all purely speculation, and is entirely dependent upon the ability of the new races to actually build a circuit and host a race, and on Bernie not finding a cheap way to end one of the existing contracts…
I don’t think we’ll lose China just because it’s China and it;s a good market.
Japan- Honda could come back it’s being speculated.
I don’t think we’ll lose Belgium or at least not permanently.
If Valencia’s only until 2014 then that could go although it’ll still be fairly new. Alonso will be what? 34, 33 by then? Probably not at retirement age and if he’s still so successful then I can understand it staying.
Turkey could well go but Lee Mckenzie did write that in GP2 it got quite a few fans there supporting Petrov so maybe if he sticks around and does well and/or Aleshin comes into F1 it may save it but they will have their actual home GP by 2014 anyway.
That said, as Keith pointed out in the comments it’s probably all about who is willing to pay.
@Steph Alonso will probably still be very competitive, and there’s still Alguersuari, who might be in a winning car by 2014.
I think Chinese and Malaysian grand prix should go (from those in the non-contract list).
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© 2014 Keith Collantine