Turkey and Portugal have emerged as primary contenders to take the slot vacated by the cancelation of the 2023 F1 Chinese GP. According to Ni Amorim, the president of the FPAK (Portuguese Automobile and Karting Federation), both countries are interested in jostling to take the spot vacated by China.
Speaking to Lusa, the FPAK president revealed:
“Portugal is at the forefront to be able to replace China in the 2023 calendar. However, Portugal is not the only interested country, as Turkey is also in the running. It will depend on whether there are funds for Portugal to host the GP. Fees are expensive, but the return justifies the investment. Currently, I don’t know what the requested amounts are, as this stage of negotiation has not yet been reached.”
December 7, 2022
(GMM) The president of Portugal’s automobile federation admits Portimao is not the only contender to replace the axed 2023 Chinese GP.
“Portugal is not the only interested country,” Fernando Machado Ni Armorim confirmed to Lusa news agency.
“Turkey is also in the running,” he added.
McLaren supremo Zak Brown, meanwhile, confirmed speculation that another solution is simply to leave a four-week gap in next year’s bustling calendar – which with China was initially set to feature a record 24 races.
“We shouldn’t have a grand prix just to fill a spot,” he insisted.
“It’s too bad that we won’t be back in China next year. It’s an important market for us so I hope they will sort out all the issues with covid-19 and we can return in 2024.”
As for 2023, Federacao Portuguesa de Automobilismo chief Ni Armorim said talks are underway with the Portuguese government about funding a replacement race.
“It will depend on whether there are funds,” he admitted.
“The fees are expensive, but the return justifies the investment. At the moment I don’t know the request amounts, because we are not at that stage of the negotiation.
“But the federation will do everything in its power to help make this project viable.”
The following 2023 F1 calendar was approved by the World Motor Sport Council when it convened in Bologna today. No replacement for the Chinese GP so far. That does not mean it won’t happen if a venue can secure the funding.
FIA Formula One World Championship
|05/03/2023||BHR||Grand Prix of Bahrain|
|19/03/2023||SAU||Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia|
|02/04/2023||AUS||Grand Prix of Australia|
|30/04/2023||AZE||Grand Prix of Azerbaijan|
|07/05/2023||USA||Grand Prix of Miami|
|21/05/2023||ITA||Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna|
|28/05/2023||MCO||Grand Prix of Monaco|
|04/06/2023||ESP||Grand Prix of Spain|
|18/06/2023||CAN||Grand Prix of Canada|
|02/07/2023||AUT||Grand Prix of Austria|
|09/07/2023||GBR||Grand Prix of United Kingdom|
|23/07/2023||HUN||Grand Prix of Hungary|
|30/07/2023||BEL||Grand Prix of Belgium|
|27/08/2023||NLD||Grand Prix of Netherlands|
|03/09/2023||ITA||Grand Prix of Italy|
|17/09/2023||SGP||Grand Prix of Singapore|
|24/09/2023||JPN||Grand Prix of Japan|
|08/10/2023||QAT||Grand Prix of Qatar|
|22/10/2023||USA||Grand Prix of the USA|
|29/10/2023||MEX||Grand Prix of Mexico|
|05/11/2023||BRA||Grand Prix of Brazil|
|18/11/2023||USA||Grand Prix of Las Vegas|
|26/11/2023||ARE||Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi|
December 4, 2022
(GMM) Portimao may not be the replacement race for the scratched 2022 Chinese GP.
Formula 1 confirmed reports that due to the “covid-19 situation” in China, the sport’s scheduled return to Shanghai after a three-year absence will in fact not take place in April.
“Formula 1 is assessing alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course,” a statement read.
Reports suggested Portimao in Portugal was lined up as the replacement race, but Auto Motor und Sport thinks it is logistically “nonsensical” for F1 to go from Australia to Portugal and then Baku.
Simply axing China, meanwhile, would leave a gaping four-week gap in the calendar.
Portimao also has a world endurance sportscar six-hour race scheduled on the Shanghai date, leading correspondent Andreas Haupt to surmise that a “stopgap in Asia would be a better alternative”.
“Moving Azerbaijan forward by two weeks is said to have also been discussed in Formula 1 Management,” he added. “But it’s rumoured that there is a high probability that China will be cancelled without replacement.”
December 3, 2022
Concerns of the travel time and costs between the Australian GP on April 2nd 2023, the Portuguese GP on April 16th and then on to Baku on April 30th have been laid to rest.
Easter falls the weekend after the Australian GP, so all team members were heading home to Europe anyway. Now they can stay on the following week for the race in Portugal before heading to Baku 2 weeks later.
All the equipment was going to be flown from Melbourne to China and then to Baku. Now it will fly from Melbourne to Portugal and then to Baku – not 4,400 mile increase in flight distant. However, it may actually be less expensive, given the logistical costs in China and the Covid lockdown hotel and meal costs that were going to be incurred by the teams.
The total flight miles from Melbourne to Shanghai and then to Baku was going to be 7,763 nautical miles.
The new flight miles from Melbourne to Portugal and then to Baku are now going to be 12,198 nautical miles, an increase of 4,435 nautical miles or 57%.
Considering F1 was going to lose $50 million by cancelling China and not replacing it, some of the money will be recouped by adding in Portugal as a replacement, estimated to be around $20 million.
Whereas attendance was limited to 27,500 in 2020 due to Covid, and zero in 2021 due to Covid, upwards of 100,000 are expected if the race is approved for 2023. The 4.69km racetrack can host up to 100,000 spectators
Sources say the Portuguese GP on April 16, 2023 will indeed be approved next Friday at the FIA World Council meeting in Bologna, Italy
December 2, 2022
(GMM) Toto Wolff thinks Formula 1’s annual calendar should not exceed 20 races.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali this week admitted that he would not extend the schedule beyond the unprecedented 24 grands prix next year.
Mercedes boss Wolff, however, thinks teams need to look after its people by rotating travelling staff on calendars longer than 20 races.
“We’re discussing that right now,” he told Speed Week.
“I would introduce 20 world championship races as the upper limit, then there would have to be equivalent (staff) replacements in each department.
“On the other hand there are also employees who like the lifestyle of constant travel.”
It was thought possible that the calendar would at least shrink from 24 to 23 races next year as China struggles with mass protests against its controversial ‘zero covid’ strategy.
But Joao Carlos Costa, a prominent Portuguese motorsport commentator, thinks Portimao is set to replace the endangered Chinese GP in April next year.
He said an announcement is “imminent”.
“Small details are to be resolved before the FIA World Council scheduled for December 9 in Bologna,” said Costa.
“What a Christmas gift for Portuguese fans.”
— B24 (@B24PT) December 1, 2022