Alpine boss says 'shabby' Silverstone and Monza must upgrade

Circuit atmosphere - The Wing building.
© XPB 

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has warned that Silverstone and Monza are both falling behind in the need to keep their facilities modern and cutting edge.

And he warned that the circuits are risking their future within the Formula 1 world championship if they don't keep up with brand new, custom built state of the art venues in the US and the Middle East.

Last year saw F1 head to Qatar and Saudi Arabia for the first time, and this May will see the inaugural Miami Grand Prix take place on a street circuit currently under construction in streets around the city's NFL stadium.

Rossi said that such new circuits were making the older tracks look 'shabby', and said that they can't depend on their historic status within the sport if they want to keep their spot on the calendar in future.

“I personally think it’s setting the bar high in terms of infrastructure," Rossi told the media last month when asked what he felt about the latest circuits. “Especially when you are in Abu Dhabi, it’s all perfect.

"It’s very nice and they are making the right modifications on the track. I think Abu Dhabi now is much better than it used to be. The drivers certainly like it."

Even some of the older circuits like Alert Park in Melbourne, Australia are busy upgrading and revamping their tracks to keep up with the times and latest technical developments in the sport.

"[It] makes some venerable, amazing tracks look a bit old and shabby," Rossi warned. “It’s great to be at Monza and Silverstone and I love those races very much, but you need to stay on top of your game because the others will probably build."

However it wasn't universal praise for the new venues, with Rossi having some concerns about the latest additions to the F1 schedule.

“Perhaps in Saudi, they went a bit too far because there are high speeds so they need to do a bit of [reining in]," he suggested.

"In F2, as well as F1, it benefited us - Alpine - most times. F1 we managed to get away from the crashes [but] there were probably too many crashes.

“That said, I like the take on new tracks," he continued. "Interesting designs and amazing infrastructure. For me it’s an interesting way of stretching everyone back in the old continent to not rest on your laurels.

“I guess Miami will try and do the same," he added. "They have built something to make sure that if [other circuits] fall asleep, they will get the spot.”

This season sees a record23-race season in store, with Mimi the latest new event making its bow in May.

Next year will see Qatar start a 10-year contract to host an annual race, and China is expected to return for the first time since 2019 following the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

The current Concorde Agreement signed by all teams allows for up to 25 races per season, while Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has said there is sufficient interest from venues around the world for up to 30 events.

That mens that any venues not up to scratch could soon find themselves squeezed off the calendar regardless of their iconic status within the sport.

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