JHS18

Future F1 Calendar

221 posts in this topic

As Eric suggested in the US Grand Prix thread, here's a thread for discussing the future of certain races, news about new races, the latest on tracks being built, etc...

I was saying how at the moment, the future for the current F1 calendar as we know it doesn't look so good. Quite a few tracks have various problems.

Australia: Government aren't happy about the amount of money it costs - Bernie only wants to stay if it is a night race.

Malaysia: No immediate issues.

China: Long been talk of it disappearing off the calendar, but the Government keeps funding it so unlikely.

Bahrain: Discussed to death on this forum already.

Barcelona: Funding problems, may alternate with Valencia from 2013.

Monaco: Recently renewed contract.

Canada: Secure-ish

Valencia: As already stated, major funding issues, be a surprise if they even raced there this year.

Great Britain: Believe it is safe till some time in the 2020s.

Hockenheim/Nurburgring: Both have their own issues.

Hungary: Contract renewal pretty soon, although thought to be safe.

Spa: Long been talk of alternation with Paul Ricard, has money problems.

Italy: The talk of a Rome race died a death, so pretty safe. Could alternate with Imola in the future.

Singapore: Government unsure, talks of moving to another venue or dropping the race completely.

Japan: Unsure.

Korea: Talk of dropping it after just two races.

India: Safe.

Abu Dhabi: Safe.

Brazil: Unsure.

Edited by JHS18

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It makes more sense to give updates on Austin and Weehawken/West NY here, with all the other races. I had posted these things in the F1 In American thread...I'll move them here.

This is the latest on Austin: lawsuits.

The actual legal petition is here, 36 pages: www.autoweek.com/assets/pdf/CW7848635.PDF

Summary of it here: http://www.statesman.com/sports/formula1/f1-promoter-sues-other-race-investors-2215199.html

A second, smaller lawsuit discussed here: http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/racing/entries/2012/02/03/f1_track_sues_neigbhor.html

Presently, they are constructing the pit/paddock building. The track itself is an afterthought.

The New Jersey race, which debuts seven months after Austin, already had the pit/paddock stuff started before they even announced the race (October 2011). Most of the construction there will involve catch fences and barriers; they literally run inches away from buildings etc.

You can see the track here:

And a more scenic look here:

Not much other news about NJ; they're just getting stuff done and haven't felt the need to make drama out of it.

Also heard nothing about the Russian race in Sochi; that's for 2014, though, so I figure it'd be quiet.

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I honestly like the idea of alternating races. I think it keeps the calendar fresher, it's one more element that could mix the standings up a little, and it makes F1 races bigger events if they only come around every other year. If it keeps costs stable for fans (already really high), keeps good tracks on the calendar, it works for me. I think it adds a little excitement.

I'll be interested to see the ticket sales on New Jersey, on this subject, assuming the race goes. There are so many other places to watch from; cheaper to just rent a room, or reserve a table at a restaurant, or stand in the Exxon gas station convenience store, than to buy tickets on top of every other expense. Plus there's no real room to put grandstands, other than where they have to build actual roads (for a couple of lame-o right angle corners, the irony of ironies, that the manufactured track includes more nineties than the actual streets themselves do). I like the race, obviously, I'm already throwing around plans for a meetup with some people, but I don't really know how it can be a success.

I don't know how any of these races can be a long-term success. These tracks/promoters/governments are agreeing to deals that they know won't end well, and their own stupidity of signing only encourages Ecclestone to continue asking for those fees, because he knows they never learn and just say yes and yes and yes. I've got to be missing something, because it seems to me, if these fees are so high, and all these races are having financial trouble, I wouldn't want to do this if I owned a track, or if I were a government, or whatever.

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This just was announced by our President, and it must be taken with more than a grain of salt but, apparently, only some "formal" steps are left to sign a 3 year contract for an Argentinian GP starting next year :blink:

They mentioned Mar del Plata and I am quite sure there are no F1 able tracks being built there (there is one being built near Zarate city, about 80 kilometers north of here and there's

(my personal favourite for a future race). So, if this is true, it will probably be a street circuit.

I hope this time is not just an empty promise but an actual race here!!!!!! I will be able to travel there and...who knows, meet THE ONE...Tamara Ecclestone! :banana:

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Starting in 2013? Hmm...replacement for Austin to partner with Brazil, since Austin's just not going to do it? They can even call it the USGP if they like, since US F1's major sponsor was the Argentinian (or Argentine; both are words, do they mean different things? Which is correct?) government (the other was Mariscó Liqueur if you're keeping score).

I figure with that time frame it can't be a street race, when in Soviet Russia street circuit builds you takes four years this is a horrible joke I'm sorry. But Sochi had many years to setup a street circuit; same with Weehawken. Upgrading a track, however, to FIA's standards can be done in a few months (or Donington can do it in a few thousand months, but they have 24 hours on the clock so their units of time are all messed up I think).

Anyway, in before the Portero de los Funes ejaculation and subsequent YouTube fiesta. I don't like the circuit only because everyone else likes it. ;)

Nah, I hope this is all legitimate. I like new races, I really do, even if some of the new track designs have been flops. It's just one more variable for Red Bull to deal with better than everyone else, or something along those lines. It keeps it fresh, and I like that.

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I do like Portero de los Funes - I've loved the GT races around there in the past couple of seasons. Although I'm unconvinced it'd make a good F1 track.

Some tracks just aren't suited to F1. Like with Donington - it was a stupid idea that F1 should ever return there, the track wasn't suitable enough even with that joke of an extension they planned. Donington suits things like touring cars and bikes, it doesn't suit F1.

I think that's where the current age of tracks are going wrong. There was a quite fascinating interview with Hermann Tilke in F1 Racing magazine a while ago where he said when designing a track these days it has to be a one size fits all kind of attitude, meaning the track has to suit F1, MotoGP, etc, and all have different needs.

In an ideal world tracks would be built to specific series so an F1 track didn't have to be compromised for fear of safety requirements for bike racing or whatever.

But that'd never work.... :P

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You're right, it wouldn't work. It's not economically viable to build some huge 4-mile track somewhere and use it one weekend per year, especially when some F1 weekends turn a loss when it's all said and done (which then makes me wonder why they sign these deals which brings me back to every point I've ever made about tracks and races). Of course, some of the locations they build in, I'm not sure it's economically viable to build some huge 4-mile track and use it fifty-two weekends per year. You grow racing from the grassroots, not from dumping an F1 race on people who have no real connection to racing. I am all for expanding F1 to new markets, but I think you have to go slower. Until you have people in those countries, normal people, turning wrenches on historic cars or those funny F1 stock car things or sprint cars or a Formula Ford or a touring car or whatever you want to do at some smaller facility, until you have people from those countries driving, in some capacity, it doesn't work. I know F1 is so far removed from the stuff at the heart of it all, but that doesn't mean there's no merit in introducing a country to a different kind of racing. All the successful races, or would-be-successful races on different contracts, are in nations where there was either an F1 involvement when F1 was more "approachable" so-to-speak, or have a real network of grassroots racing, or both. I'd love to sell F1 to all these new places they are visiting. But first you have to sell them something smaller, and make them really want something bigger like F1.

I don't even know how I got there. :P

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The problem with Funes is that is not exciting enugh as it is, but makes for a beautiful view from above. And as I will be watching it and not racing in it, I'll settle down for the view :P

As for Mar del Plata, there had been talks for some years now about a street race there. Bernie even went there before and said that he'd rather had a race here in Buenos Aires (for obvious economical/logistics reasons). Mar del Plata, being a coastal city and a usual touristic destiantion for the locals looking for beaches, makes for a nicer landscape, IF they can actually come up with a suitable street circuit for next year.

That "next year" part is the one that makes me think that this is just some mere negotiation that the president decided to turn into a written in stone decision. I very much doubt Bernie has already approved this race and the FIA is willing to get this GP into their next years calendar when nobody heard anything about this until now and some other races still haven't.

On the other hand, the Secretary of Tourism (which is in charge of the negotiations) was warned on TV by the President while she was making the announcement: "I hope this agreement is signed, otherwise, I swear I'll kill you!" :lol:

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Interesting Austin note:

FOX broadcasts four races in the United States each year. Austin will not be among those races (worth nothing for our U.S. viewers, if any are out there, that SPEED will air 30 minute pre-race and 30 minute post-race shows flanking the FOX coverage of Canada, Europe, Britain, and Germany).

Now I realize Austin falls into NFL season, and FOX has a contract to show NFC home games, so there might have been a conflict there but it either means...FOX aren't convinced the race is happening, or if it does happen, it will get half the viewership it would have gotten as a FOX race. If they wanted to make it work, if they really wanted to make this event work, they would have scheduled it for after the NFL game(s) on FOX, or, to be more friendly to the European audience, just not shown it live in the U.S. and aired it right after the latest game...

...they used to do that with Champ Car races on CBS and they literally had ten times the viewership as a typical Champ Car race because so many people are tuned into the game leading into it. You get eyes on the USGP, then you make it a real event..."oh, maybe I'll go to that next year, this is better than NASCAR" or whatever. But no pre-show, never a pre-show, you start right as the lights go because you will lose all the viewers if you spend even two minutes talking about it.

So they're doing it wrong.

But I guess we've known that since they signed the damn contract to do Austin. :P

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The one thing I have never gotten about an American Street Race is this: American Roads are absolutely horrible.

I have lived in America now for over 15 years and the average American surface road or freeway or highway is in worse shape than most of the roads I have driven on in the 3rd world countries I have visited. Granted, 99% of my road experience in America has been in southern California so i don;t know about NJ but even so. I have come up with the theory that the reason most American cars are built like cheap disposable children's toys is because American roads are of so poor quality that they take 5 years off any car's lifespan anyway so you might as well build cars out of scrap metal and pencil shavings.

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Yeah, completely valid point, roads in the U.S. are terrible, and I'd think with the winters, they're even worse in New Jersey than California. I've lived in New Jersey, go there a lot, and while I've never been behind the wheel anywhere outside of Massachusetts and Rhode Island where winter eats our already crap roads, the roads in New Jersey are similar to the same crap everywhere in the country I've been, and those specific roads in Weehawken/West NY are really bumpy and uneven (the straightaways are essentially banked at parts). I'm not sure how much resurfacing they are going to do, but I can definitely see the race being really rough between the track surface and it being so, so narrow. Any mistake is game over, and I think the track will lend itself toward their being mistakes, just by abusing the car and making it that much harder to control.

But wrecks would attract the NASCAR crowd, I suppose. :P

I do think Jersey will go, I don't think it will go for the whole ten years, and I don't think they have the solution, permanent circuit or street circuit, for the U.S., because they don't know what to do in the U.S. market. They don't know how to sell drivers to us, they don't know how to sell the experience to us, they don't know how to connect their races to our (dying) car culture and grassroots racing scene. They approach it wrong from the very start, no matter what track they're trying to host it at, and that makes it hard.

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Argentina race would be Mar del Plata. Street circuit. Joins Valencia, Monaco, and a few others as being by the water. Jersey's an exception; that's by the wooder.

http://autoblog.com.ar/2012/03/asi-sera-el-circuito-callejero-de-mar-del-plata-para-la-formula-1/

For those less fluent in Spanish than I am, which, as I have demonstrated in the past, is my first language:

The race has been in the making since 2009. Hermann Tilke visited and designed that layout then. There's nothing else that interesting being said. Read elsewhere the deal is 2013, 2014, and 2015, which I don't believe. It seems every deal in F1 is ten years, or something close to that. I wonder if they were trying to say it will either start in 2013, or 2014, or 2015. :P

Meanwhile, I saw a live cam of construction at Austin. Nothing interesting going on there. Moving dirt around. They need to start laying down some asphalt, I think...

...which makes me wonder...

1) Can you have a concrete racing surface in F1? They've done it on ovals in NASCAR and IndyCar, and it's not very pleasant to drive on, so I figure on a road course, and with F1 cars so fragile, they can't, but if they can race in New Jersey, it might be something interesting to add any kind of flavor to the calendar.

2) Have they ever thought about airport circuits? Just one. I only want one. Anyone who saw a Champ Car race at Cleveland (or to a lesser extent, Edmonton) knows what I'm saying. The tracks are really, really, really, really tremendously flat, obviously, but they are so wide and with no barriers, drivers get really brave. The races at Cleveland were so exciting, and I know F1 drivers are a little cleaner than the CART/CCWS boys were, but they could have gone barreling down into turn one four or five cars side-by-side with a standing F1 start there. I only mention this if they want to break into America because it takes a lot less construction to do, it can be less of a hassle than a street race in an actual city, it would make the USGP a really unique one-of-a-kind event and they can play that up, and it would offer fans a view of the entire circuit from just about any seat, which Americans are used to on ovals. Just a thought.

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So they're hosting this in June to promote Austin:

http://formulaexpo.com/

Nice Ferraudi. Probably made the website on Wordpress. "Top drivers and teams" will be there, though. Not sure how, Scott Speed's not free most weekends, but maybe Ken Anderson can bring his Falcon IndyCar chassis along with him. He pretended he was a team owner and his son Jason, a catch-can man by trade (guy who used to hold a can to collect fuel overflow during a NASCAR pit stop; they eliminated that position a while ago) who pretended he was a chief designer. So one of them could surely pretend to be a racing driver. Get me, I still have my gloves.

To be less cynical, $15 isn't a horrible price, and if they can actually get a current driver or two there, and some current cars, it's not a terrible way to promote F1. I'd also invite Caterham junior driver Alex Rossi, F3 Euro racer Michael Lewis, and Lotus GP3 driver Conor Daly to introduce the fans to a few Americans on the ladder.

I still don't think the race itself is going to happen, of course, though Red McCombs says construction is going ahead smoothly (the main grandstand just got started...track is still just dirt mounds).

You can watch the construction here: http://www.justin.tv/speedcitycam

That's not an endorsement of that website, but that stream is legal because it has the rights to stream construction at COTA, so I give myself permission to post it. It's not like anyone's going to click it; very boring to watch. ;)

But Wild Bubba up the road is happy, so I guess I'm happy, too.

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/retail/2012/03/wild-bubbas-seeks-investor-for-grill.html

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TBH Eric, the track is the last bit they actually need to do.

For months I watched Hampton Downs get built. First off the scrapers came in and basically laid out the course, including the still to be laid bottom loop. Then they started on the apartments and other buildings around the track. About a month before the first race was to be held they started laying the track.

What was happening, was that in all that time, which was considerable, they were letting the base course settle and mature as it were. A race track is not something that you want to pot hole, so you have to build it right, and lay a good prep. Once the ground was settled, they then began laying the track proper. After three years of use of around 320-days a year, there has only been one small section where some further settlement occured. This was patched up before the start of this season.

So all in all, just because there is only dirt for a track, the chances are such that the base course is merely settling.

I'm ever hopeful the race will go ahead, and the closer it gets, and the less Bernie says about anything, the more likely I think they will be ready for business when they need to be.

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Interesting.

They may not be terrible construction-wise, then. I was largely going on the fact they're constructing buildings now for a race in November, while Jersey has more constructed for a race in June 2013 (they obviously don't have to build a track, but my point is, I figured if they were behind Jersey in buildings, they'd need a lot of time to do the track. But I should have figured with NJ, they're working with actual roads, so they need to do things a lot slower on someone else's timetable rather than their own).

I still don't believe it's going to happen. Two lawsuits already, one where they sue themselves. And I'm still confused about the money, whereas Jersey is probably funded by mafia money and that's fine.

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Agree (I think)...I'm by no means on the 100% affirmative that the race will go ahead, but I just keep thinking that if something really was that bad, something would have come out of the Delta Topco offices on the matter....at this stage of the game in Korea's build there certainly was, as there also was out of India.

Only time will tell, and I hope that the worst is not realised, because I like the track idea/layout, and it's about time the USA got a track with right hand corners....I often wonder how it is you lot ever get anywhere when all your roading networks are ovals...how to you ever get from LA to New York? That Route 66 must be one helluva big oval....but I am sure people don't really want to get to either city by way of Baja or Toronto....

:P

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Booo, reduce Spa's fees and have it twice a year!! Those Frenchmen can surely get up to Belgium!

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I don't know how many races you've watched at Paul Ricard, but all those painted lines sure do increase the chance of epilepsy

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Booo, reduce Spa's fees and have it twice a year!! Those Frenchmen can surely get up to Belgium!

Seconded!

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Well, on the upside, they were going to alternate Spa with Montréal, rather arbitrarily. That would have meant two great circuits part-time. Now we only have one great circuit part-time. Have to find the positive: we don't have to deal with Paul Ricard every year. :P

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