Max Verstappen has expressed his concerns over the direction Formula One is being taken in, where there is an aggressive push for more street circuits on the race calendar.
A number of new venues have been added to the schedule in recent years, with new owners Liberty Media overseeing the introduction of Qatar and Saudi Arabia last year – both of which are set to be staples for years to come.
The 2022 season also sees the introduction of the Miami Grand Prix and from 2023 there will be three races in the United States on the calendar, with a new night race in Las Vegas set to make his debut next term – which will take the tally of races in a season to 24.
Under the terms of the most recent Concorde Agreement, signed in 2021, the number of 24 cannot be exceed and, with South Africa widely expected to return to the schedule while both Qatar and China will also host races next year, at least three venues will have to be dropped.
That has led to intense speculation that the famous races at the likes of Monaco and Spa could be under threat – but Verstappen has expressed his concern about swapping out historic venues for the addition of new street circuits.
"Of course they have to make money and try to make the sport more popular, but it's also important that the right tracks stay on the calendar and that we don't just race at street circuits in cities. In the end, these cars are not made for that," he told dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
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Verstappen confirmed that he had expressed his worry with F1 chief Stefano Domenicali, who suggested in the off-season that there could be as many of 30 races per season in the future, and said he understands why the decisions were being made.
"[Domenicali] understands that [the cars may not be made for that] too, but he has to take into account his shareholders. It won't be like it used to be. Entertainment will be more important, but that's just the world today."
The first street circuit of the 2022 is on the horizon, with the inaugural Miami Grand Prix taking place around the Hard Rock Stadium on May 8th.
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