Formula One will have a draft 2019 calendar by the end of August but there could be only 20 races, with Germany out of contract and a proposed round in Miami still in the embryonic stages, as F1 commercial manager Sean Bratches assured Reuters at Sunday’s German Grand Prix that next year’s schedule would be published before the Belgian race at Spa-Francorchamps on Aug. 26.
He would not be drawn on the number of races but Miami city authorities are not due to take any decision on what would be a second U.S. round until after their August recess. Sources told Reuters Formula One had already accepted Miami would not feature on the calendar until 2020 at the earliest.
Sean Bratches also confirmed that Formula One wanted to keep Germany, home of champions Mercedes and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, on the calendar – hopefully from next year. Whether that is Hockenheim or somewhere else remains to be seen, however: “Our interest is in remaining in Germany.” – said Sean Bratches – “We have three countries out of 21 where the government doesn’t underpin the grand prix — Austria, Britain and Germany. So we’re trying to find an appropriate way around that. We’re not ready to wave the white flag yet on Germany for 2019. Everybody’s interested in making a deal. And there’s multiple circuits in this wonderful country.” – the Formula 1 commercial manager concluded.
Jorn Teske, the Hockenheim marketing director who has been actively engaged in negotiations, told Reuters that the choice really came down to his circuit or the Nuerburgring – which has also been unwilling to pay the hosting fees demanded. He dismissed suggestions that a street race could be organised in Berlin, given that a fan festival scheduled for the week before the German Grand Prix never got off the ground.
Jorn Teske said talks remained ongoing but it depended on whether the focus was 2019 or 2020: “When we are speaking about 2020 then we have enough time. If somebody is thinking about 2019 then again we have to hurry up because normally we would have started our pre-sales exactly one year before the next race,” he added. Now it’s more important to find a solution in general. This is our goal, sure. If we can reach this I have no idea at the moment.” – he added.