JUNE 21, 2022
F1 set to drop legendary Spa-Francorchamps race
The legendary Formula 1 circuit at Spa-Francorchamps is tipped to be missing from the 2023 calendar.
On the sidelines in Montreal last weekend, team bosses heard F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali's news that the schedule could be set to grow yet again - to a record 24 races next year.
"It's not a big difference between 24 or 23 or 22," said Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur.
A full 16 of those 24 races, however, are said to be set aside for grands prix outside of Europe, as Formula 1 mines new markets in the US and even Africa.
However, the famous Belgian GP venue at Spa could be missing, as the promoters are yet to agree a new deal with Formula 1 despite significant upgrades around the fabled Eau Rouge section.
Alpha Tauri boss Franz Tost, however, has no time for sentimentality.
"It's totally easy," said the Austrian. "No money, no game.
"If they have the money, we go there. If we don't have the money, we don't go there."
According to the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper, the first published draft of the 2023 calendar is not expected until the end of the summer.
Correspondent Jo Bossuyt added: "But the plans are slowly becoming clearer, and they don't look good for Spa-Francorchamps."
Bossuyt said Spa's axe sounded even more likely following a meeting of F1 team bosses in Montreal on Saturday afternoon, during which the 2023 calendar was discussed.
"There are only 8 places on the calendar for European circuits, and Silverstone, Budapest, Spain, Imola, Zandvoort and Monza all have contracts for 2023," the journalist added.
"Negotiations are still underway with Monaco, and Austria will certainly be fine as the circuit is owned by Red Bull. That means the eight European dates are already filled."