F1 drivers back Spa, Verstappen against increasing street circuits

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Formula 1 drivers have backed Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps to keep its place on the calendar.

The historic circuit is considered strongly at risk of being dropped after this year, as F1 needs to make space for upto four races in 2023.

These include a definite new event in Las Vegas and the return of Qatar and potential comebacks for China and South Africa.

This weekend's French Grand Prix is also set to be dropped but will likely become part of a rotational European calendar.

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On Thursday, F1 drivers were asked which race between France and Belgium they'd keep.

And while France did get some support, albeit at a new track such as Le Mans, Esteban Ocon's suggestion, or even Dijon via Sebastian Vettel, most preferred Spa with a "sad" Verstappen capturing the general feeling.

“It’s my favourite track, first of all,” he said via RaceFans. “I think it’s just a great track to drive.

“Of course I understand that to get there compared to other tracks, it’s probably a little more difficult sometimes to deal with the traffic. But it’s a very iconic track.”

The reigning world champion also encouraged F1 to not get carried away with its recent trend of new street circuits, such as those in Jeddah, Miami and Vegas.

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“I don’t want to see myself in 2028 or whatever driving only on street circuits close to the city just for the fan engagement or whatever,” he said. “Because you need these iconic tracks on the calendar.

“Of course, I understand everyone wants to make money but there is also a limit to that because it’s important to keep these really cool circuits on the calendar instead of just driving on street circuits, which I think F1 cars are not designed for anyway.”