Amidst brewing debate regarding the future of the traditional F1 circuits like French Grand Prix’s Paul Ricard and several others from the F1 calendar in near future, reigning champion and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has voiced his opinion against the idea.
The subject to scrap established traditional races, or rotate them and instead to hold the race at ‘international’ big city street circuits, including proposed Las Vegas race, was widely discussed amongst several stakeholders. But the matter took a back seat as the celebrated driver and current reigning champion joined the other drivers to vouch for the sports’ iconic traditional circuits, including Spa-Francorchamps track from a proposed 25-race calendar for next year.
Reports have claimed that owners of the commercial rights forge a new future, breaking from the past and targeting a new younger audience which will severely impact the races at historic venues like Monaco and Italian Grands Prix. However, Max Verstappen’s backing might work well for the traditional circuits as the Red Bull driver has clearly stated that he doesn’t want to see himself driving on street circuits close to a city just for the fan engagement.
“I understand everyone wants to make money but there is also limit to that because it’s very important to keep these really cool circuits on the calendar instead of driving in street circuits, which I think F1 cars are not designed for anyway,” he said at Paul Ricardo during the French Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen, who has been reluctant to accept the idea of Americanisation of sports, led by owner Liberty Media’s push for a Netflix-driven expansion into new markets including the United States, the Middle East and South Africa had refused to participate in the ‘Drive to Survive’ series.
Race promoter Christian Estrosi also claimed on Monday that he was not resigned to the loss of the French GP next year after record crowds at this season’s event. “We are in middle of discussion, so no I have not resigned. I saw our country regain its Grand Prix de France, this magnificent, popular sporting event. I am convinced that in the coming weeks, we will have extremely positive things to announce for the future of our Grand Prix,” he said.