Belgian Grand Prix: Formula 1 drivers call for race to remain on calendar despite 2023 uncertainty


The Belgian GP does not have an F1 contract for next year and the calendar should be reduced from 22 to 24 races; Christian Horner: “It’s great that these new events are happening and that there is interest. But you have to have this story”

Last update: 22/08/22 14:00

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Ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, we look back at some of the most memorable moments from previous races at Spa

Ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, we look back at some of the most memorable moments from previous races at Spa

Formula 1 drivers have warned of the loss of the Belgian GP from the calendar as the sport returns to Spa-Francorchamps amid growing concerns it could be the last race on the circuit for some time.

Spa has been a popular F1 track with drivers and fans for more than 70 years – off the calendar in just six seasons since the championship’s inception in 1950 – but risks falling off the 2023 calendar.

F1 is gearing up to host new races next year with Las Vegas already confirmed and a South African GP reportedly in the works, while China and Qatar GPs are also set to return next year.

There is a 24-race limit for the 2023 season and as there are already 22 rounds this year it has left races like the Belgian GP in doubt, with no contract yet in place.

“It would be a real shame to lose Spa,” said world champion Max Verstappen, who enjoys a warm welcome due to his proximity to the Netherlands. “It’s my favorite track in the world.

As Formula 1 prepares to return after the summer break, we look back at how Max Verstappen built an 80-point lead over title rival Charles Leclerc

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As Formula 1 prepares to return after the summer break, we look back at how Max Verstappen built an 80-point lead over title rival Charles Leclerc

As Formula 1 prepares to return after the summer break, we look back at how Max Verstappen built an 80-point lead over title rival Charles Leclerc

“I think it’s just an amazing track in a Formula 1 car.”

Lando Norris, who is half Belgian of maternal origin, added: “I think Spa should always be there as long as Formula 1 exists.”

The Belgian GP is live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend, with practice starting on Friday and Sunday’s race at 2pm.

“We have to protect races like Spa”

The Belgian GP is one of F1’s most iconic and historic events and only Monza, Monaco and Silverstone have hosted more races. Many believe that these four cycles should remain on the calendar, regardless of income.

“Spa for sure…it’s one of those historic races,” said Red Bull boss Christian Horner. Sky Sports F1. “Monza, Silverstone, Spa, these are the big and historic ones, we should protect them and protect them.

Martin Brundle joins Christian Horner at his country home to discuss all things Red Bull

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Martin Brundle joins Christian Horner at his country home to discuss all things Red Bull

Martin Brundle joins Christian Horner at his country home to discuss all things Red Bull

“It’s great that these new events are happening and that there is interest. But you have to have that story. It would be like having the ATP Tour without Wimbledon.

“They’re part of our history, they’re part of our DNA. We’ll definitely make our opinion known, but you have to trust the people who run the business at the end of the day.”

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel agreed the Spa track “is amazing and it would be a shame to lose it”, while 2009 champion and Sky Sports F1 pundit Jenson Button also expressed his feelings.

“If Spa isn’t here, I’ll be very upset,” Button said on a WTF1 podcast.

Take a look at the most thrilling battles between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen so far this season in their quest to become world champion

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Take a look at the most thrilling battles between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen so far this season in their quest to become world champion

Take a look at the most thrilling battles between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen so far this season in their quest to become world champion

“If you take Spa away, it’s for other reasons, not because it’s not a good circuit. It’s one of the best in the world, the racing is incredible, the drivers love it and the teams love to go there.

“We have to be a bit careful. We have to make sure we keep the racing exciting and go to circuits that give us great races because you’re going to see happy drivers.

“I like the mix of having street circuits and old school tracks, but we can’t go to every city center and go there just because of the location.”

The summer break is over and the Belgian GP is live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend, with Sunday’s race at 2pm.




Sky Sports

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