there will be no Grand Prix in France in 2023

The Paul-Ricard circuit, at Le Castellet (Var), July 24, 2022.

Formula 1 will not pass through France in 2023. This dreaded news from Le Castellet (Var) was confirmed on Thursday August 25, on the sidelines of the Belgian Grand Prix, another historic event also threatened with extinction next season.

France, like Belgium and Monaco, had not yet renewed its partnership with the world championship for 2023. If the two other Grands Prix mentioned still have a hope of appearing on the calendar, there will therefore be no racing in France next year, Formula 1 said on Thursday, confirming a statement by its chairman, Stefano Domenicali, which appeared in The Team.

To hear it, it is not necessarily a farewell, rather a goodbye. On Wednesday, the Italian leader said at a press conference that  » the discussions [étaient] very, very open for a great future and a possibility, not next year, but in the future” by « a kind of rotation that would allow everyone to be part of the calendar ».

“There are sites that are talking to each other to submit a proposal to us in the coming months. This will not be part of the 2023 calendar. We are talking about 2024 or 2025 at the most to start with this approach”added the president of F1.

The French Grand Prix “takes note of the recent declarations of Stefano Domenicali (…) on his absence from the calendar for the 2023 season”said in a press release the organizer of the Grand Prix.

“Balancing” between the continents

The two parts « continue to work together on the presence of this event in the calendar in the years to come, and in particular on a system of alternation »confirmed the French promoter.

Even if the warning signs left France little chance of keeping its place, the blow is hard for the fans in a country with a very strong motorsport tradition with still two drivers out of twenty, a team (Alpine ) out of ten and one engine manufacturer (Renault) out of four. So here is France in the closet after sixty-two editions, like Germany (sixty-four editions) which has not had a Grand Prix since 2019.

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« It’s hard to swallow, reacted Esteban Ocon, the French pilot of Alpine. But it’s not an end in itself, there will be opportunities, we have a lot of great circuits, cities that would be delighted to be able to host a Grand Prix. »

“Of course I am very sad, I really hope he will come back as soon as possibleadded the other French driver, Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri). Monaco and Spa are also in danger, these are tracks that I really appreciate. As drivers, we tell them our opinions, but of course there are issues beyond our control. »

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Given the growing interest in F1 and the new financial standards represented by the new Grands Prix, « History is not enough »explained Stefano Domenicali, according to whom the presence of the so-called historic Grands Prix “cannot be taken for granted”.

More extensive contracts

F1, which is now exporting to Saudi Arabia, Miami and next year to Las Vegas, is looking to  » to balance «  its races between continents, between newcomers and Grands Prix « historical ».

This new generation F1, promoted by the American group Liberty Media, holder of the commercial rights since 2017, is experiencing a new impetus thanks to the Netflix series Formula 1: Drive to Survive and wants to go global with, as a result, more extensive contracts.

« Of course, we are talking about a sector where the investments and the financial contribution are very important, but we have always said that the traditional races, which we know cannot bring the money that the others bring, have all our respect”underlined Stefano Domenicali.

Monaco and Belgium are in favorable ballot. Especially since the return to South Africa, desired by F1 which has not been present on the continent since 1993, should not be effective before 2024 at least.

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The World with AFP

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