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F1 says new tracks must be "great" for racing

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F1 says new tracks must be "great" for racing
By:
Co-author: James Allen
Jun 4, 2018, 11:30 AM

Formula 1 chairman Chase Carey has made it clear that new venues will only earn their place on the calendar if they are able to deliver tracks that are good for racing.

Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41, leads Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18
Chase Carey, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of the Formula One Group and Ross Brawn, Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18
Chase Carey, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of the Formula One Group
Jean Todt, President, FIA, and Chase Carey, Chairman, Formula One
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14
Chase Carey, Chairman, Formula One
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37

With the sport moving away from the Bernie Ecclestone era, where there were criticisms that boring circuits were added only because of the high race fees on offer, Carey has suggested that the priority for F1 owner Liberty Media is more about what the offering will be for fans.

Amid talk of new races in Miami and Vietnam, Carey has laid out the key criteria new races must meet - which are exciting track layouts in spectacular locations.

"There are a handful of things that are important for us," said Carey, speaking at the FIA's Sport Conference in the Philippines on Monday.

"First, we want to make sure that it is great for a race. While we build all the things around it, it starts with having a track that provides a great race.

"Today, realistically, there are tracks that probably we need to work on that are not conducive to providing the most exciting best racing. There are some that are fabulous. To start we want a track that will deliver a fabulous exciting race.

"I think second, we want a site that is going to capture the world's imagination. We are in the great cities around the world.

"We use the phrase destination cities, and we are in places where you want, when they [fans] look at it on TV, are excited about it, think it looks spectacular, and really capture people's imagination. And if they go to it it is even more special.

"We want those magical cities and magical countries that really intrigue and fascinate the world."

Overtaking issue

Carey's comments about tracks being suitable for racing comes amid intense criticism from fans about the recent Monaco Grand Prix, which was labelled by Fernando Alonso as perhaps the most boring race ever.

Liberty is working hard on making changes to F1 that will help spice up the show in the future, with aero tweaks planned for 2019 and a more major revamp on the cards for 2021.

Speaking about the difficulties F1 is facing, Carey said that overtaking was something that needed addressing – as he was under no illusions that the 2019 tweaks will not solve all of the sport's problems,

"Overtaking is clearly an issue, and I think we know the steps we are taking for 2019 with the FIA are not a cure all, they are a step," he said. "The changes in 2021 will be more significant.

"We are more broadly addressing the aerodynamics. We don't want to lose the aerodynamic aspects that make F1 racing so spectacular, but we do think we need to do things that enable overtaking to be a much more significant part of the sport.

"But it is not the only one. There are a lot of things we have underway that will bring a more competitive balance, more action on track, and in many ways more unpredictability.

"Predictability is not good in sports. You want the unexpected. You want the memorable moments that you didn't see coming. You want the underdog winning. You want those things to happen."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble