May 28 (GMM) The only way Paul Ricard can keep the French GP alive may be to alternate a single annual race date with another grand prix.
Fernando Alonso, who has raced at Monaco more than any other current F1 driver, said rumours the Principality could lose its fabled street race “don’t make sense”.
Russian F1 commentator Alexey Popov commented: “The fact that we are looking at the results on Friday and not on Thursday is the first sign that Formula 1 started a war with Monaco.
“They will pay or they will go from the calendar. Most of the fans are also saying Monaco is not interesting except for rich people on yachts,” the Match TV pundit added.
But other European races including Spa-Francorchamps are also in danger as Liberty Media unashamedly expands into new markets like Miami and Las Vegas – and one of them is France’s Paul Ricard.
Race promoter Christian Estrosi is quoted by RMC: “I’m quite won over by the idea that doing a race every two years really makes sense to move up a level compared to other grands prix on the planet.”
Estrosi met with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali on Friday to discuss Paul Ricard’s expiring grand prix deal.
He said it was to “confirm that at the end of the 2022 edition, Domenicali has said yes in principle to us having another race”.
“He (Domenicali) said that France is on a model in the F1 calendar that must evolve, as they are discussing with several other places on the calendar that not everyone will necessarily have a grand prix every year,” Estrosi added.
Estrosi, who is also the mayor of Nice, says he expects more clarity by September.