Tuesday 11 August 2015


The German team Mercedes do not have a home GP to show their prowess - 
The economy dictates the geography of business and for Formula One, it is following this world norm. With the costs of hosting a Grand Prix increasing with each year, there are countries that are prepared to shell out these exorbitant amounts of money in order to be a part of this 'global machinery circus'. And from next year, the number of races go beyond 20 for the first time. With Azerbaijan slotted as 'European Grand Prix', Formula One has again demonstrated that it is a sought after brand - but at what cost?

I am all for globalisation of the sport and coming from Asia, I am happy to see many of the races coming where the money is. However, I am also of the opinion that, there must be a balance - preserving the tracks of the yore with modern tracks in emerging countries. There is a German team that's been dominant for the past two years and yet there is no clarity regarding the future of German Grand Prix. In fact, this year, the scheduled German GP was cancelled as authorities did not have enough funding to host the event. Thankfully, there will be a German GP for next year, but who knows whether it will see the light of the day!

The FIA is headquartered in Paris, France and has another office in Geneva, Switzerland. A federal law prevents Switzerland from hosting motor-racing events since the tragic incident of Le Mans 1955. What's stopping France to be one of the annual hosts? France, a place where motorsports was born, where Grand Prix was first coined - it is unfathomable to see France not having a place in the calendar.

Yes, we all get the thing - no money, no place - but is that what the sport is all about? What is the point of hosting races where there is no significant national interest or no clear automobile future? The investors would love to get their returns for what they have contributed - but what is the limit? and FIA, it is happy to be receiving all the money generated from the sport and take interest only in making regulations - and even that they need support from the commercial partners and the teams.

What do I propose? - You want twenty races, or even 21, feel free to include it. However, for old time's sake - have races in Germany, France, Britain, Belgium, Monaco and Italy. Out of these six places, only Monaco and Italy have had no problems in hosting the races regularly. Look at tennis, there are many new ATP and WTA venues - but they have preserved the golden quadrilateral of the Grand Slam. Why can't we have a similar one in Formula One?

If you want people to appreciate Formula One in the long run, do not stop at halfway mark of going just to new markets; do make an effort to remain in countries that made this sport popular. 

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