Five F1 races up for renewals this year

Are the huge Monza crowds enough to save the Italian GP?
Are the huge Monza crowds enough to save the Italian GP w/o government backing?

Formula 1 chairman Chase Carey has said the fact five race deals will expire this year "is nothing unique" and that it's a challenge the sport will face every year since there are 20 venues with contracts that expire at varying times.

But with sanction fees so high, all F1 races need VooDoo economics to make them work. Race promoters lose their shirt without government support for the event.

Mexico is the most recent addition to the list of races which don't have a deal past 2019 after it missed the deadline to keep its preferred date on the calendar following the withdrawal of its government's financial support.

Meanwhile four European races are also without a contract for 2020 – the British, German, Spanish and Italian grands prix are all negotiating their future.

Carey doesn't seem too concerned by this, insisting every season since Liberty Media took over they have had to negotiate new deals at the last minute.

"We have contracts where 2019 is the last year and we have to either create a new agreement or go our separate ways," Carey told investors. "There’s nothing really unique to this that wasn’t true last year.

“We had a number of renewals last year, just as we had a number of renewals the year before. There are different issues to each one.

Chase Carey
Chase Carey

"That’s the process we’re engaged in now, with renewals for 2020 – we’ll always have three or four negotiations we’ll have to go through each year."

The loss of five races would be a heavy blow to the calendar, and whilst that's unlikely, one or two could be dropped as they struggle to pay the massive hosting fees F1 demands.

Carey however is confident the sport can attract new venues, such as its deal to visit Vietnam next year, as well as new races in Europe, such as a Dutch GP which has seen increasing support in recent years.

"As we’ve gotten a few years under our belt I think we feel pretty good about the trajectory of the ability to continue to have a healthy business. We think there’s room to add a bit to the race calendar.

"We have places all around the world that would like to add races, including not just new markets, but some traditional markets like western Europe," added Carey.

It's expected the subject of a 2020 calendar will be discussed at an upcoming World Motor Sport Council meeting next week, where the potential loss of five key markets will likely be addressed.

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