The future is bleak for classic GP tracks

The future is bleak for classic GP tracks

Formula 1's European presence has steadily shrunk in recent years, and it's only going to get smaller, reckons DIETER RENCKEN - who expects more iconic tracks and GPs to vanish

Scroll through the 1996 Formula 1 calendar published on Forix, AUTOSPORT's comprehensive motorsport data archive website, and the first thing that strikes you is that during the last full season before F1's commercial rights were hived off to entities controlled by then-incumbent caretaker Bernie Ecclestone that list of races runs to 16 rounds.

The second salient point is that 11 of those 16 races, almost 69 per cent, were staged in Europe, with the remaining five held in Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and Japan. Interestingly, both Germany and Italy hosted two rounds, the former at Hockenheim and the Nurburgring (as the European Grand Prix), and the latter at Monza and Imola (San Marino).

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