Belgian GP stays on the calendar: this circuit pays the price

Belgian GP stays on the calendar: this circuit pays the price

13-10-2023 19:47 Last update: 21:08

Ludo van Denderen

In Belgium - and in particular the Spa and Francorchamps area - the flag went up on Friday afternoon: the Grand Prix will be retained for the country through 2025. It is only two years away, but with the Belgians' contract extension, it is fairly clear what the F1 calendar will look like that year. For one candidate host already seems to have no place.

Only one current Grand Prix for 2025 currently has no contract. Only for Japan's Suzuka is it uncertain whether Formula 1 will return after 2024. Of course, a new contract has yet to be agreed, yet it seems hard to imagine Formula 1 abandoning Japan from '25 onwards. Since 1987, the Japanese Grand Prix has been a regular fixture on the F1 calendar (barring the two corona years). Moreover, Honda's country is an important outlet for Formula 1.

No South African Grand Prix

No one will be surprised if Formula 1 soon announces that its commitment to the Suzuka circuit has been extended. For one country, that would be bad news: South Africa. The Kyalami circuit has been trying for years to entice Formula 1 to return to the African country. Originally, the idea was to host a Grand Prix on the African continent for the first time in 30 years in 2023, but the promoter could not get the finances in place.

The second attempt was planned for 2024, but that too came to nothing. The circuit owners - also Porsche's boss in South Africa - did not want to hear of giving up. So then it had to be 2025 that Formula 1 finally hosted Kyalami. But simple arithmetic shows that after Spa-Francorchamps' contract extension, the chances of this happening have become a lot smaller. GPblog has asked Porsche in South Africa about the current state of affairs, but it has apparently decided not to comment.

Incidentally, not only is it proving difficult to bring Formula 1 to South Africa, retaining a race in another series is also proving to be a problem. In 2023, Formula E was hosted in Cape Town, to the delight of a lot of fans. For 2024, the venue is not (yet) on the calendar. The question is whether this will change at the last minute. Reports are coming out of South Africa that even the organisers of this race are not getting the finances together.