Even if Formula 1 has become increasingly global in recent years, it must not neglect its heartland, Europe, says FIA President Mohammed bin Sulayem. As more and more markets and regions are pushing into the calendar and the USA will also have three races in 2023, there have recently been question marks over the origin of the premier class.
This can also be seen this season: with Qatar and Las Vegas, there are two more races in the Middle East and the USA, but another European race in France has been dropped from the calendar. This means that “only” nine of the planned 24 Grands Prix will take place in Europe.
But FIA President Bin Sulayem says: “Even if there are other regions in the world that are becoming more attractive, there is one thing we must not leave: Europe. It all started there,” says the man from the United Arab Emirates. “I think you can go anywhere, but you can’t remove everything from Europe at the same time.”
He knows the importance of the “old continent” in Formula 1: most of the teams are stationed in Great Britain, and with Mercedes, Ferrari and Alpine there are well-known manufacturers from Germany, Italy and France – and with Audi the next German manufacturer in mind stand by the door. In addition, all world champions of the past 25 years also came from Europe.
“But where do you draw the line?” asks Bin Sulayem. “At the end of the day, the promoter is building a business and we have to see what we have to do to keep motorsport alive. But water only flows downstream, not upstream, and we need governments to back us up.”
That was also an obstacle in the end, why there was no more German Grand Prix. A German Grand Prix was last held in 2019 before the Nürburgring stepped in as the Eifel Grand Prix in the corona pandemic in 2020.
And although there is no longer a Grand Prix and with Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher two well-known draft horses will no longer be at the start in 2023, Bin Sulayem is not worried about the future of motorsport in Germany: “You have more than that,” he emphasizes and refers on the numerous manufacturers, not only in Formula 1.
Although Mercedes operates out of the UK, it is a German manufacturer and will soon face Audi who will step in with the new engine regulations. And Porsche was also about to enter Formula 1 with Red Bull. And with Nico Hülkenberg, Germany is also represented in the Formula 1 2023 driver field.
This article was written by Norman Fischer, co-author: Gerald Dirnbeck
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The original of this article “Racing boss fears scaring off European Formula 1 fans” comes from Motorsport-Total.com.