Could F1 be about to drop its most famous Grand Prix?
Imola is likely to return full-time, but would it replace F1's most loved borefest? This could be a move that will cause controversy if it goes shead.
As if you thought Raikkonen retiring, Bottas taking his place at Alfa, Russell replacing Bottas and Albon returning wasn't crazy, Dieter Rencken, well-known for reliable news-reporting for RacingNews365.com and RaceFans.net, has stated on his F1 Paddock Diary for RaceFans.net that it's likely that Imola will make its long-anticipated full-time return, after brief non-contractual appearances in 2020 and 2021 as F1 needed to save 2020 and F1 wanted Imola to host a replacement round in 2021. But at what cost will the track come back on a new contractual deal for?
Monaco Grand Prix could get dropped - will it cause widespread anger?
Monaco. The track that gives us plenty of excitement in practice and quali, but never really in the races. The track has hosted rounds since the start of F1, before taking a hiatus and then returning in 1955, appearing in every season since (apart from 2020), but that could be set to come to an end, despite the amount of history that F1's most historic track gives. The track is part of the Monaco-Indy 500-Le Mans triple crown, but will that triple crown fade? To the new Formula 1 fan, this would just seem like a new track that should get dropped, but to long-time F1 fans, Monaco, despite its recent borefests, which are mostly caused by the cars, rather than the punishing track, means a whole lot more than just a group of cars following one another for an hour. To the long-time Formula 1 fans, this track is about the historical moments that it made, the longevity, the tradition, the pain, the true test of talent. To see it fade away would make people furious, annoyed, upset. People may start turning off in protest. People will try their hardest to bring Monaco back into the calendar. This could get even more messy and fans will get even more upset and angry than when the Hockenheimring had to permanently pull out due to financial woes. To a lot of people, Monaco IS F1, Monaco is that one staple that you'd want to get rid of if not for its history. People won't care if the track replacing Monaco is Turkey or any other good tracks, like the Nurburgring or Mugello, people want Monaco to appear on the calendar. This is not down to COVID-19. This is due to contracts.
Imola is likely to make a full time Formula 1 return, according to Rencken, after one-off appearances in 2020 and 2021. This circuit is the most likely circuit, out of all the 2020/21 replacement rounds, to return with a contract for 2022
France also in doubt - is Miami targeting that slot?
Miami is targeting a very specific month of the calendar, May 2022. While people are linking it to hurricanes in Florida in the later months of the year, could France disappearing off the calendar be the result of that? Rencken stated that Paul Ricard's future is also in doubt, which he's confident that it is why Miami is confident about that May 2022 date.
Is Imola the biggest beneficiary out of all this?
While Imola has returned to the calendar twice since 2006, it hasn't had a contract for F1 to race there since the end of that year. This circuit is known for Senna and Ratzenberger's deaths, but Imola has changed up the offending corner, Tamburello. It has since lost its Grade 1 status after 2006, before having it reinstated later after making the required improvements, hence why it returned for 2 one-offs. It's two most recent rounds are of a mixed bag, with 2020 just being a borefest, saved by Ricciardo's podium, while 2021 just so happened to be a banger. It's understandable though that despite the circuit producing bangers, that people won't want it back. However, Imola is the richest of the 2020/21 replacement rounds and is able to host F1 races under normal circumstances, rather than having to wait to be slotted in as a replacement. Imola could see what it really can deliver.