Christian Horner slams FIA approach as Belgian Grand Prix under threat

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THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX could be under threat with no deal in place from next season.

F1 preview: A lap of the Belgian Grand Prix

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Christian Horner has slammed the FIA for not protecting F1’s historic races with the future of the Belgian Grand Prix at risk. Neither Monaco nor Belgium have a deal in place for next season despite their evocative status among fans.

 

Horner has demanded some of F1’s historic locations should be “ringfenced” to stop them from being lost. He said it was vital new races did not prevent some of the sport’s biggest draws from being dropped.

His comments come after the Red Bull boss was asked whether team bosses would fight hard against losing the Belgian Grand Prix. Horner explained: “Spa, for sure. It’s one of those historic races.

“There should be a few races – Monaco, Silverstone, Spa, Monza – they’re the big ones, the historic ones, and I think we should ringfence and really protect those. It’s great that these new venues are coming in and that there is interest but you’ve got to have that history.

READ MORE: F1 set for 2023 calendar shake-up as teams unite behind Domenicali

Christian Horner slams FIA approach as Belgian Grand Prix under threat

Christian Horner has called for the FIA to ringfence historic races (Image: Getty)

“It would be like having the ATP tour without Wimbledon. I think they’re part of our history, they’re part of our DNA. We’ll definitely make our opinion known, but you’ve got to trust the people that are running the business at the end of the day.”

F1’s 2021 Fan Survey revealed Monaco and Spa were among fans’ top four races and hinted at the demand for a new deal. Monaco’s contract negotiations have faltered after disagreements between the FIA and the Automobile Club de Monaco.

F1 champion Nico Rosberg recently revealed Prince Albert was becoming more involved in talks in a bid to retain the race. However, Belgian GP organiser Stijn de Boever has revealed Spa Francorchamps plans to wow F1 with a new entertainment-focussed event next weekend.

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Christian Horner slams FIA approach as Belgian Grand Prix under threat

The Belgian Grand Prix could be axed from the calendar (Image: Getty)

He said the team now understood they needed to “modernise” if it wanted to continue hosting races. He told Autosport: “It’s happened before that we headed into a Grand Prix without having certainty about the following year, so it’s not a big issue. We’re looking for a yearly race, not alternating with another GP, but we’re going to listen to what F1 proposes.

“Liberty Media clearly has found a new way to organise F1 races and we are going to follow them. Yes, we have something to prove. We don’t have petrodollars, but we can show that we are a legendary Grand Prix that can entertain 100,000 fans per day. It’s a big plus that they’ll be able to experience it first-hand in August.”

However, despite criticism, F1 boss Stefano Domenicali claims organisers are not trying to “sell the soul” of the sport. Speaking to Germany’s Bild newspaper, Domenicali commented: “I am not selling the soul of Formula One.

“That is a natural change, we are opening up to the whole world. Money is important everywhere. For us too. But we don’t just look at it, the whole package has to be right.”

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