It won’t be long before you can watch Formula One races from the principality of Monaco or Estoril, Portugal, again. According to the Daily Star, the Monaco Grand Prix is set to be axed from its traditional three-day format in 2022.
Director of Commercial Operations Sean Bratches told the newspaper in a leaked email that a three-day event would become a more common practice in the future, with a meeting of the Strategy Group likely to be held in May to discuss the future of F1’s principal event.
Monaco is expected to be eliminated from the 2020 edition as part of a broader revamp aimed at stemming dwindling audiences. Although the two-week event continued to be a massive draw, less than half of the attendance last year was made up of spectators, making Monaco a commercial failure on a financial level.
“We do not envision the traditional three days as the new norm for the Grand Prix, but we will review how to structure the championship over time to optimize its impact,” Bratches said.
“The much larger and growing fan base across four days, especially in the heart of Europe and the U.S., supports a three-day format, and we will look to increase fan access to it.”
During the Thursday-to-Sunday period in May, the Grand Prix will join the more traditional programs in Monaco and Mexico, an event that will now be cut to just two days.
However, Mexico has long looked unlikely to stay on the program. The country’s main problems include a perceived lack of financial support from the local government, the high cost of hosting events and the world’s top-rung appeal of Austin, Texas, the home of the U.S. Grand Prix.
The American auto racing giant also wants to put its stamp on an event that’s already a national favorite in other areas.
“The door remains open for Mexico City,” Bratches told the Daily Star. “The property remains available and we would be open to reviewing opportunities for Mexican fans.”
Beyond the reduction of Monaco and Mexico, F1 will also look to reduce its additional two-day races in Azerbaijan and a new race in Abu Dhabi. Bahrain’s Formula One future is also a mystery as the country seeks to continue with F1 after the most recent race was canceled after violent clashes between protestors and police.
Read the full report at The Daily Star.