F1: Domenicali on potential new races, downplays new teams

In a Sky Sports interview, F1 chief Stefano Domenicali says Las Vegas and Africa could host F1 Grands Prix races in the near future.

Speaking exclusively to Martin Brundle of Sky Sports ahead of the Bahrain GP, Domenicali said there was “not only Las Vegas, there are other cities that are interested in Formula 1.”

“We need to be balanced, we need to see what are the other opportunities,” said F1’s CEO and president. “And very soon we are going to tell everyone what is our strategy to develop that market.”

Domenicali also referenced Africa as a potential market to grow. South Africa’s Kyalami circuit – which Lewis Hamilton recently insisted should be back in F1.

“On top of America, on top of China (2nd race), I think there is a potential also to be in Africa soon,” Domenicali stated. “There is a lot of interest there. For sure that’s another area that so far is missing in the geography of our calendar.”

F1’s current Concorde Agreement, which runs until 2025, allows 24 races per season.

“I think there is potential to go to 24,” added Domenicali. “I would say there is potential to go to 30! In terms of the interest we see all around the world.

“It is up to us to try to find the right balance considering what are the venues which would like to be in F1, what are the historical values we need to see on the calendar.”

Speaking to reporters in Bahrain, Domenicali also said that some current races could lose their spot on the grid.

“There are some promoters who have expiring agreements, and probably some of the current grands prix will no longer be part of the calendar,” he said.

Not sure F1 needs more teams

“There’s not only Michael Andretti,” said Domenicali. “He is maybe the most vocal one, but we have more than four or five requests to consider an extra team to be a part of Formula 1.”

Andretti Autosport team owner Michael Andretti faces an uphill battle to get into F1

But Domenicali hinted that while F1 will discuss with governing body the FIA about potentially having more than 10 teams on the grid to “find the right strategy for the future”, he isn’t convinced the sport needs it.

“I have to be very honest, today F1 with 10 teams, with the competition on the track, is very, very solid,” he explained. “There are complexities that need to be considered if other teams can be added.

“Therefore I don’t think it’s the most important element to grow F1, to be honest.”




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