Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi says classic tracks like Spa-Francorchamps are the "lifeblood of F1" and that it is "vital" they remain on the schedule.

His comments come ahead of next weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, with Gastaldi adding that the sport needs to strike a balance in terms of incorporating both historic races and those in new markets.

"In my opinion it is vital," Gastaldi replied, when asked how important it is to still go to circuits like Spa. "These tracks are the lifeblood of F1.

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"There wouldn't be a tennis season without Wimbledon or a golf season without the Masters at Augusta. These circuits need to be maintained in F1 because the fans identify with them so much and they nearly always create excitement.

"I think we have a good balance of tracks in F1. Some traditional like Spa, Silverstone and Monza, some great street circuits like Monaco and Singapore and then newer F1 markets like Russia, the Middle East and the US.

"F1 should be about variety in every context while at the same time being relevant to partners, fans and teams alike."

Meanwhile, Gastaldi noted that what makes Spa-Francorchamps so special is the track itself: "The atmosphere is unique as well, but ultimately Spa is all about the challenge that it presents to the drivers," he explained. "Just watching them attack the classic corners like Eau Rouge and Pouhon is a thrill. It must be amazing to drive this rollercoaster in the forest; it's like the track reflects the ups and downs of everything in F1.

"Spa also has a good feeling in the paddock too because everyone is refreshed from the summer break and there is a sense of renewed energy for the rest of the year.

"We've seen so many times over the years the epic races that have played out at Spa; Michael Schumacher making his debut there in 1991, then winning the Grand Prix with us as Benetton the following year, Damon Hill winning Jordan's first race or our former driver Giancarlo Fisichella coming so very close to winning there in 2009.

"It's a great place to be and always delivers a superb spectacle."