Motor racing’s prestigious Formula 1 (F1) series has struck renewals with its broadcast partners in Belgium and Mexico after signing contract extensions with the grands prix staged in their respective countries.

Play Sports, the sports broadcaster owned by Belgian telecoms operator Telenet, extended its rights package deal for the series for another two seasons.

The deal will see the Flemish broadcaster continue to provide live coverage of all qualifying, sprint, and grands prix during 2023 and 2024, extending its long-running relationship with the series since securing the rights in 2014.

The deal comes after F1 announced in August that the Belgian Grand Prix will feature on the 2023 calendar after striking a one-year contract extension with the Spa Francorchamps circuit.

RTBF, the country’s French-language public broadcaster, also holds rights to the series.

The long-term future of the Belgian race is yet to be decided, with several circuits around the world keen to take its place on the calendar, which is currently capped at 24 races.

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F1 has also confirmed the renewal of its rights agreement with pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports Mexico that will run through the 2025 season.

The new deal will see the network continue to show races across its Fox Sports One and Fox Sports Two channels, with advertising. However, it said advertising-free coverage will be available through its Fox Sports Premium service, with nine grands prix available exclusively on the platform next season.

The new contract lines up with the recent extension signed by the Mexican Grand Prix to remain on the F1 calendar until 2025.

The extension with Fox ensures F1 has full distribution in Mexico after the series announced Telcel and Telmex subscribers will be able to access the F1 TV Pro streaming service until the end of the 2023 season.

Ian Holmes, director of media rights and content creation at F1, said: “These partnership agreements are a statement of our intent to grow and develop our global fanbase by delivering best-in-country broadcasting and bringing Formula 1 to new audiences.

“The 2023 season will see plenty more drama and excitement, so I’m pleased that fans in Mexico and Belgium will be able to experience everything the sport has to offer.”

The news comes after F1 teams Scuderia, Alfa Romeo, and McLaren announced a merry-go-round of new team principals, while Williams announced the resignation of theirs.

On Tuesday (December 13), Ferrari named Frederic Vasseur as their new team principal and general manager. He joined from the equivalent position at Alfa Romeo, who immediately confirmed Andreas Seidl, currently of McLaren, as its new chief executive.

Seidl’s team principal position at McLaren was filled by Andrea Stella, who was promoted from within the organization, most recently serving as racing director.

Williams, meanwhile, announced the resignation of team principal Jost Capito after two years.

The 2023 season of Formula 1 is due to start on March 5, 2023, and end on November 26, 2023.

Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing, the current constructor champion of motor racing’s iconic Formula 1 (F1) series, has reportedly ended its partnership with blockchain platform Tezos after first partnering with the brand in 2021.

The platform has been excluded from the team’s updated list of sponsors on its official website and its logo has not been on the car during Red Bull’s recent show run, according to news outlet GP Blog.

Red Bull Racing signed a “multi-year” contract with the company at the beginning of 2021, with the platform becoming the team’s official blockchain partner.

At the time, the team had hoped to launch its first NFT experience for fans.

The move comes in the wake of the FTX bankruptcy scandal, which saw rival Mercedes immediately cut ties with the cryptocurrency firm.

The exchange reportedly saw $6 billion of withdrawals in the 72 hours up to Tuesday (November 8) due to concerns about its financial health and was unable to cover them.

A provisional deal for Binance to buy the beleaguered market was also announced on Tuesday, but the fellow cryptocurrency exchange pulled out of the deal as a result of corporate due diligence and reports regarding mishandled customer funds and alleged US agency investigations.

FTX’s precarious position has left its various sports partnerships at risk, including that of Mercedes.

The two entered a long-term sponsorship agreement last year under which the FTX logo was featured on both of the team’s cars, on its drivers' clothing, on its fleet of trucks, in its garage, and on all partner logos displays in the trackside hospitality and communications facilities.

FTX also had access to Mercedes team members, including drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, for marketing initiatives, and was collaborating with the team on strategic initiatives and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Image: Peter Fox/Getty Images