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‘Wean F1 off Europe’

Formula One is gradually moving away from its traditional homeland of Europe, and must embrace that fact.

So thinks Pedro de la Rosa, Spanish test driver for McLaren, a team based, like seven other F1 team, in the UK. The four other teams are based in Europe, but a quick look at the race schedule for next year will tell you that 12 of the scheduled 20 races will take place on other continents.

De la Rosa wrote in his formulasantander.com column: ‘We all know that the grand 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.’

Germany could lose its traditional Grand Prix meet in favour of a more lucrative race elsewhere in the non-European world. ‘I find it hard to imagine a season of formula one without Germany,’ the Nurburgring's Karl-Josef Schmidt said. ‘I think it's the same for Mr Ecclestone,’ he added, with his fingers crossed.

But de la Rosa sees no room for sentiment in the modern age of Formula One. ‘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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