The 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 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.

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 are 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 too, 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 Portimao 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

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 leads at the start of the race

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 leads at the start of the race

Photo by: Sutton Images

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 was too high compared to the potential ticket revenue the venue could get.

Estoril

Ayrton Senna, Lotus 97T leads at the start

Ayrton Senna, Lotus 97T leads at the start

Photo by: Motorsport Images

While Portimao will hold the Portuguese Grand Prix, its previous home was Estoril – not so far from Lisbon.

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 1996.

Jerez

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F310B turned into Jacques Villeneuve, Williams FW19 Renault at the Curva Dry Sack

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F310B turned into Jacques Villeneuve, Williams FW19 Renault at the Curva Dry Sack

Photo by: Motorsport Images

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 Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna, while it most famously hosted the season finale in 1997 that witnessed the collision between Jacques Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher that decided the world championship (above).

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 Speedway

Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber F1.08

Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber F1.08

Photo by: Sutton Images

While Suzuka has established itself as the regular home of the Japanese Grand Prix, the Fuji circuit south-west 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.

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Sainz "a little angry" over Perez's Racing Point exit
Previous article

Sainz "a little angry" over Perez's Racing Point exit

Next article

Gasly: AlphaTauri has "big ambitions" to match Red Bull

Gasly: AlphaTauri has "big ambitions" to match Red Bull
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021