Despite the Russian Grand Prix being cancelled, it seems F1 are sticking with their record-breaking 23-race calendar, and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is confident they’ll easily be able to replace it.
Last week, the sport announced that it would be “impossible“ to race in Russia “in the current circumstances” following their invasion of Ukraine.
There’s now a fortnight window between the Italian Grand Prix on September 11th and Singapore’s return on October 2nd for a race, potentially in Sochi’s original September 25th slot.
Yet Domenicali’s not panicking. In a call, he said the sport was well prepared to find a short-notice replacement considering their experience doing so during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Talking specifically about the situation this year, because of the Russian situation, I just can confirm to you that we have already proven in the last couple of years to be very flexible and not to have any problem in finding possible solutions to that,” he stated.
“So I can just confirm that could be an option for this year with no problem at all.”
F1’s certainly no stranger to late calendar changes. 2020 saw 13 races axed, alongside the return of Imola, Portugal and Turkey and last season saw five races replaced.
You’d think that racing 23 weekends of the year would be enough, but apparently not. Domenicali has confirmed that F1 are looking to expand the calendar further, potentially up to the 25 races allowed in the Concorde Agreement.
He previously claimed there was enough interest from circuits to create a 30-race season.
“Due to the great success that F1 is having the possibility of having new races in the future is still very big,” he added.
“With regard to possible venues for the future we can just say that there are a lot of discussions going on. We need to make a lot of choices for the strategic markets that we believe are the right ones for Formula 1.
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“Something we don’t have to forget is this year will be 23 races, the highest number of races in the history of Formula 1.
“So I think that we can watch that in the right way, taking the right decisions. We are not in the rush for that, it’s just a matter of tuning in all the different possibilities that we have in front of us.”
Anyone else think that 23 is more than enough races?
Which race would you like to replace Sochi? Let us know in the comments below.