Formula 1 is reaching a pivotal moment with its circuit contracts, as it finalised what its 25-race calendars will look like over the remained of the 2020s.
Twelve circuits’ contracts run out by the end of 2023, while seven tracks are locked in past the end of the decade, meaning the next three years should see lots of manoeuvring between F1 and promoters.
There’s also no shortage of tracks wanting in on F1 though, so we picked out seven possible new races that could be hosting Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, George Russell et al over the next few years.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Home of possibly the most famous race in motorsport in the Indy500, the Brickyard is one of the most iconic venues in sport.
It hosted eight US GP in the 2000s and was most successful aside from the farcical 2005 edition, where only six cars competed as a result of the Bridgestone-Michelin tyre war.
It last featured F1 in 2007 as Lewis Hamilton took his second-ever race win, but there’s been talk of adding it to the calendar as recently as 2020.
“Clearly Indianapolis has all the ingredients of a Formula 1 venue, all the facilities,” then-FIA president Jean Todt told Motorsport.com.
“Indianapolis is a kind of Silicon Valley of motor racing in the U.S. so of course if the Formula 1 commission proposed to have a race at Indianapolis it would be very good for Formula 1.”
Just two South American countries have hosted F1 races and Brazil is the continent’s only representation on the 2023 calendar, but that could be set to change.
The city of Barranquilla sits on Colombia’s northern coast, is the birthplace of Shakira, and could soon be the host of the Caribbean GP if reports are to be believed.
According to Barranquilla mayor Jaime Pumarejo, F1 delegates have visited the city and liked what they saw, he added they were aiming to get it on the calendar for 2024 or 2025 on a 10-year contract.
“What we can say is that the process is going very well,” Pumarejo told Blu Radio in summer 2022. “Progress has been made in all the previous steps before a final decision.
“That is to say, they have already come to the city, they have found it comfortable and they have thought that there could be a different Grand Prix here, where nature would be one of the most important points.”
The circuit on this list with the best chance of making it onto the F1 calendar in the near future, Africa is the only continent not visited by F1 right now.
Kyalami was a regular fixture for F1 in the 1970s but after it fell off the calendar in the 1980s due to apartheid, the last two South African GP took place in 1992 and 1993.
With the circuit needing upgrades to qualify for an FIA Grade One licence there was real optimism that it could be back for 2023, and though those plans fell through, discussions remain around getting it on the calendar for 2024, 2025 or beyond.
“I was an inside part of it,” South Africa’s 1979 World Champion Jody Scheckter exclusively told Total Motorsport.com. ”My nephew worked on it for six years.
“It was that close. The guy from Kyalami went from 500,000 to 2 million, and he wanted to take the whole thing over.
“F1 came over to sign. He had got government backing, some of the wealthiest people in South Africa behind it. Everything was in place, and the guy from Kyalami got greedy.
“Just as soon as F1 left, he changed the whole thing completely. The government realised there was a fight [going on] and withdrew, and that was the end.
With Fernando Alonso looking as strong as ever and Carlos Sainz taking his first race win in 2022, Spanish interest in F1 is booming – and Madrid is working to capitalise on that by hosting a grand prix on a street circuit in the capital.
F1 has visited Madrid before – the Jarama Circuit hosted 9 grand prix from 1968-1981 – but Barcelona has had a stranglehold over the race since the 1990s, and it looks like it might stay that way.
“They are working to bring a race, we know the interest from Madrid, the same from Barcelona and it’s great news for us,” F1 president Stefano Domenicali told MARCA in March 2023. “You can never say never in life, of course, but two races in Spain is very complicated.
“We are happy with Barcelona and it is true that Madrid wants a race, so we will see, all this is good for F1. There is great interest, but it is also true that we are focused at the moment on Barcelona, which has a contract and the relationship is strong.”
The Algarve International Circuit was close to a return to F1 in 2023 after just a year out, it was rumoured to replace the cancelled Chinese GP but ultimately those plans fell through.
Added to the COVID-19-affected 2020 calendar to much optimism, Portimao went on to host two pretty lifeless races, both won by Lewis Hamilton.
However, it may be better suited to the new generation of cars and it does still have some fans, it looks closer to a return than most recently dropped circuits.
New York City
New York‘s actually hosted 20 grand prix – just at the popular Watkins Glen circuit upstate rather than the Big Apple.
There’s been plans to get F1 into NYC since the 1980s, with the most concerted recent efforts coming a decade ago. The planned 2013 Grand Prix of America was set to run through New Jersey along the banks of the Hudson River, with that famous skyline providing the backdrop.
Those plans fell through but that hasn’t deterred the city, further plans were submitted – and rejected – in 2022 by city mayor Eric Adams and that’s unlikely to be the last attempt this decade.
Plans for a London GP were pitched as recently as March 2023 by environmental group LDN Collective and consultancy firm DAR.
They suggested a race alongside London City Airport that could look similar to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, as part of a wider rejuvenation plan for the London Docklands.
Pitched for as early as 2026, the high-speed circuit would run to 3.64 miles, feature 22 corners and have a predicted average speed of 127mph.
The problem – as with the London ePrix – is that the Docklands really aren’t the most picturesque part of London. If you’re going to New York you want to be racing through Times Square, if you’re racing in London you want the start-finish line to be right in front of Buckingham Palace but if these iconic cities can’t get their most iconic places on show, any planned grand prix there start to lose their lustre.
Circuit Paul Ricard
There’s little chance of the Circuit Paul Ricard making a permanent return to the F1 calendar, but a slot-share with Spa has been mooted, where the circuits would alternate hosting a race each year.
That deal would mean halving the host fees circuits must stump up each year, though it would also mean each circuit would only get those lucrative F1 ticket sales once every two years too.
Pretty much universally hated by fans in its most recent stint in F1, Paul Ricard finally delivered a good race in 2021 but by then its fate was sealed, at least as a full-time host.
“I’m quite won over by the idea that doing a race every two years really makes sense to move up a level compared to other grands prix on the planet,” Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi told RMC.
“At the end of the 2022 edition, Domenicali said yes in principle to us having another race. He said that France is on a model in the F1 calendar that must evolve, as they are discussing with several other places on the calendar that not everyone will necessarily have a grand prix every year.”