De la Rosa: F1 must accept move away from Europe

By on Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pedro de la Rosa. Photo credit: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Formula One needs to accept the steady move away from its traditional European homeland.

That is the claim of Spanish test driver Pedro de la Rosa, whose employer McLaren is based in the UK close to seven other formula one teams.

The other four teams are based elsewhere in Europe but, next year for example, no fewer than 12 of the 20 scheduled races will take place on other continents.

De la Rosa wrote in his latest column that F1 is moving with the times of the world.

"We all know that the grands prix are usually contested in those countries which can permit it, and nowadays, the majority of countries which can permit it are now in the Near East or on the same continent, Asia," he said.

The next traditional host in danger of losing its F1 races is Germany.

"I find it hard to imagine a season of formula one without Germany," the Nurburgring's Karl-Josef Schmidt is quoted by the DPA news agency this week. "I think it's the same for Mr Ecclestone."

Schmidt is trying to negotiate a lower race fee for the circuit's next scheduled race in 2013.

But de la Rosa said F1's traditionalists need to accept the future has arrived.

"I understand that it is very hard for all those who, like me, grew up watching F1 races at the Nurburgring, at Brands Hatch, Estoril or at the Paul Ricard circuit," he said.

"But it is as obvious to recognise that the investment of Asian countries is supplanting and even replacing the tradition of European countries."

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