Formula One has been around for a long time, to be precise, 68 years. With 68 years comes a supremely high number of races hosted. In 2019, the sport will host its 1000th F1 race.
Now, to commemorate that event, the F1 bosses contemplated moving next year’s British Grand Prix to April. The idea was that they wanted Silverstone to host the 1,000th championship race. But F1 managing director, Sean Bratches has said that that honour will go to China instead.
Speaking at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, he said that the British weather would make such a rescheduling impractical. It is rather unfortunate as Silverstone hosted the first Formula One championship race in 1950. Having the 1000th race also in Silverstone would be very poetic indeed.
“Silverstone was the first grand prix and we would have liked to see the 1,000th go back to the first,” said Bratches. “I think there’s a nice story and a nice harmony there.
“But when I was told, being a relatively new Brit, that the weather is sub-optimal in April, they warded me off that quickly.”
The American joined Formula One last year when US-owned Liberty Media took over as the commercial rights holder. He confirmed that China would play host to the 1,000th F1 race.
The 2019 schedule has not been published yet and there is speculation surround the calendar. Some say that Liberty might tweak it to ensure a circuit with more atmosphere and history hosted the milestone race.
Bratches said Formula One planned to hype up the 1000th F1 race throughout 2019 and target the Chinese market for the sport’s growth.
“We’ve spent a lot of time on this topic and looking at different circumstances, weather patterns,” he said.
“China is a great place to race. It’s part of our future and we’re excited about going there for that particular race.
“That said … next year we’re going to celebrate it as the year of the 1,000th grand prix so you’re going to see integrations across the year celebrating this incredible milestone,” he added.