The F1 races that could fit Red Bull's 'invitational' GP idea

Formula 1's bid to ensure it gets a full calendar of races slotted in amid the coronavirus pandemic has opened the door for a unique calendar this year

The F1 races that could fit Red Bull's 'invitational' GP idea

While regular venues like Monza, Silverstone and Spa have continued to hold races, so too are we seeing some firsts like Mugello or the return of old favourites like Turkey and the Nurburgring.

The success of last weekend's Tuscan Grand Prix has highlighted how F1 could be injected with a freshness if there are new events put on the calendar, rather than the sport just repeating the same schedule year after year.

PLUS: How F1 cars left Mugello with its own Eau Rouge paradox

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is one who thinks that F1 should learn from the enthusiasm that the new calendar has delivered from teams and fans - and has even suggested a regular 'invitational' slot in the future.

"It is great that F1 is going to these different venues and we have some more coming up in Istanbul and Imola," said Horner, reflecting on the Mugello weekend.

"It keeps up the competition for a place for one of the 22 slots on the calendar and I think it would be good to have some sort of invitation race once a year to take in these different tracks."

It is a view that Williams driver George Russell agreed with, as he reckoned everyone in F1 would benefit from some different challenges each year.

"It is a great job to F1 to give us that opportunity," he said of the chance to race in new places like Mugello. "Maybe we need to do this more often, moving forward. Maybe every year we need two joker races or something."

While some venues like Mugello and the Algarve circuit would certainly struggle to fund a regular slot on the calendar, because of the huge race hosting fees, the idea of a rotational extra race where they get to host a race every few years would not be completely impossible.

Furthermore, there are no shortage of races with the FIA Grade 1 licences that would be perfect additions to the schedule.

Of course some of the 2020 additions, including Imola and the Nurburgring, would all be perfect for making the occasional return to the calendar, but there are some forgotten gems too.

Here is a look at four venues that would be a great fit.

Sepang

Malaysia last hosted a Formula 1 race in 2017, with its Sepang circuit a firm favourite of drivers and fans.

The venue still holds MotoGP and only turned its back on F1 because the race fees were too high compared to the potential ticket revenue the venue could get.

Estoril

While the Algarve circuit will hold the Portuguese Grand Prix, the previous home was Estoril - not so far from Lisbon.

Top 10: Unforgettable Senna moments

The venue hosted the country's F1 race from 1984 to 1996 and was the scene of many famous moments, including Ayrton Senna's first win in 1985, Nigel Mansell's black flag in 1989 and Jacques Villeneuve's move on Michael Schumacher around the outside of the final corner in in 1996.

Jerez

Jerez is better known as a venue for MotoGP these days, but it has had its moments in the Formula 1 spotlight too.

Its debut race in 1986 was remembered for the ultra close finish between Mansell and Senna, while it most famously hosted the season finale in 1997 that witnessed the collision between Villeneuve and Schumacher that decided the world championship.

PLUS: The race that unearthed Schumacher's greatest rival

It was after that race that its fate was decided, however, when a local mayor interrupted the podium ceremony, and the FIA deemed that it should not be allowed to host another race.

Fuji

While Suzuka has established itself as the regular home of the Japanese Grand Prix, the Fuji circuit north of Tokyo has had its fair share of F1 moments too.

It was the scene of the 1976 F1 title decider between Niki Lauda and James Hunt, while it also had a brief run of modern races when it hosted the 2007 and 2008 Japanese Grands Prix.

And while it had looked set to then alternate with Suzuka longer term, the worldwide financial crisis at the time prompted track owners Toyota to decide to relinquish the race.

shares
comments
Gasly: AlphaTauri has ambitions to match Red Bull in F1

Previous article

Gasly: AlphaTauri has ambitions to match Red Bull in F1

Next article

F1 Portuguese GP expect 45,000 fans amid "crazy" ticket sales

F1 Portuguese GP expect 45,000 fans amid "crazy" ticket sales
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021