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Belgian Grand Prix: Formula 1 drivers call for race to remain on calendar amid 2023 uncertainty | F1 News

Belgian Grand Prix: Formula 1 drivers call for race to remain on calendar amid 2023 uncertainty | F1 News thumbnail

Belgian GP does not have F1 contract for next year and calendar is expected to grow from 22 to 24 races; Christian Horner: “It’s great that there’s these new events coming in and there’s interest. But you’ve got to have that history”

Last Updated: 22/08/22 10: 20pm


Ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, we look back at some of the most memorable moments from previous races at Spa

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Ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, we look back at some of the most memorable moments from previous races at Spa

Ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, we look back at some of the most memorable moments from previous races at Spa

Formula 1 drivers have warned against losing the Belgian GP off the calendar, as the sport heads back to Spa-Francorchamps amid growing concerns this could be the last race at the circuit for some time.

Spa has been a much-loved F1 track by drivers and fans for more than 70 years – off the calendar in just six seasons since the championship’s inception in 1950 – but is in danger of falling off the 2023 schedule.

F1 is braced to welcome new races next year with Las Vegas already confirmed and a South African GP believed to be in the pipeline, while the Chinese and Qatar GPs are also set to return next year.

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There is a 24-race limit for the 2023 season and as there are already 22 rounds this year, that has left races such as the Belgian GP in doubt, with no contract yet in place.

“It would be a big shame to lose Spa,” said world champion Max Verstappen, who enjoys a home-crowd reception due to its proximity to the Netherlands. “It’s my favourite track in the world.

As Formula One prepares to return after the summer break, we take a look back at how Max Verstappen built an 80-point lead over title rival Charles Leclerc

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As Formula One prepares to return after the summer break, we take a look back at how Max Verstappen built an 80-point lead over title rival Charles Leclerc

As Formula One prepares to return after the summer break, we take a look back at how Max Verstappen built an 80-point lead over title rival Charles Leclerc

“I think it’s just an amazing track in a Formula 1 car.”

Lando Norris, who is half Belgian from his mother’s roots, added: “I think Spa should always be there as long as Formula 1 exists.”

The Belgian GP is all live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend, with practice starting on Friday and Sunday’s race at 2pm.

‘We’ve got to protect races like Spa’

The Belgian GP is one of F1’s most iconic and historic events and only Monza, Monaco and Silverstone have hosted more races. Many believe all four of those rounds should remain on the calendar regardless of revenue.

“Spa, for sure… it’s one of those historic races,” Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports F1. “Monza, Silverstone, Spa, they’re the big and historic ones, we should ringfence those and protect those.

“It’s great that there’s these new events coming in and there’s interest. But you’ve got to have that history. It’d be like having the ATP Tour without Wimbledon.

“They’re part of our history, they’re part of our DNA. We’ll definitely make our opinion known, but you’ve got to trust the people who are running the business at the end of the day.”

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel agreed that the Spa “track is amazing and it would be a shame to lose it”, while 2009 champion and Sky Sports F1 pundit Jenson Button has also made his feelings known.

“If Spa isn’t there I’ll be very upset,” Button said on a WTF1 podcast.

Take a look at the most enthralling battles between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen so far this season in their hunt to become world champion

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Take a look at the most enthralling battles between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen so far this season in their hunt to become world champion

Take a look at the most enthralling battles between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen so far this season in their hunt to become world champion

“If you take away Spa, it’s for other reasons, not because it’s not a good circuit. It’s one of the best in the world, the racing’s amazing, the drivers love it and the teams love going there.

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“We have to be a little bit careful. We need to make sure we keep the racing exciting and going to circuits that give us great racing because you’re going to see happy drivers.

“I like the mix of having street circuits and old school tracks, but we can’t be going to all city centres, and just going there because of the location.”

The summer break is over and the Belgian GP is all live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend, with Sunday’s race at 2pm.

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