F1 in Europe

Stewart: F1 calendar must retain historic races

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Three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart has called on the sport to remember its roots and ensure that its most historic races remain on the calendar.

For the first time in 60 years, there will be no grand prix in Germany this 2015 after neither the Nurburgring nor Hockenheim could come to an agreement to host a race with the sport’s commercial rights holder.

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza is also though to be at risk, whilst events such as the Grand Prix of Europe in Azerbaijan and the Qatar Grand Prix are slated to join the schedule in the next two years.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Stewart urged the powers that be in F1 to keep the history of the sport in mind and ensure that the core European races remain on the calendar.

“That sounds like me being a purist, but you have to respect history,” Stewart said. “They should always be on the calendar.

“It’s terrific we have a U.S. Grand Prix, a Brazilian Grand Prix, one in Bahrain, and that we are going to new countries.

“But you still have to respect your heritage.”

The ever-expanding F1 calendar has resulted in a decline in races being held in Europe over the past decade. Events such as the San Marino Grand Prix and the French Grand Prix have already fallen by the  wayside, and a number of other races are thought to be at risk of meeting a similar fate.

For 2015, there are only seven European races on the calendar (excluding Russia, which is treated as a flyaway). The Austrian Grand Prix could be at risk should Red Bull make good on its threat to quit F1, given that the brand funds the race, whilst the Italian Grand Prix at Monza is known to be coming under increasing pressure.

As sanction fees for hosts continue to swell and become only viable for rich nations that are able to use government aid to wipe away the losses made, F1’s global outlook and approach to scheduling will only persist.