Formula 1’s boss says there is “no magic number” regarding the number of grands prix to which the calendar could be limited, wary of balancing quality with quantity. Under Liberty Media the championship has signed extension agreements with several events while for 2020 it has added Vietnam and brought the Netherlands back into the fold.
It means that next year’s roster will feature a record-breaking 22-round calendar, while discussions are ongoing with other interested parties regarding potential races in the future.
Formula 1 has already reached an agreement in principle with Miami for 2021, though various hurdles still need to be cleared before the event can be rubber-stamped.
“We have two new races, Zandvoort and Vietnam, and one race not continuing, Germany, so I think we do feel excited about it,” said Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey.
“We have [discussions] in some traditional markets, some in new markets, like the US and China, and they are in varying stages depending on which one, and I’m not going to handicap individual discussions.
“But I think we hope that every year there’ll be something new to it, I think on capacity on 22 we don’t have a magic number, a bit like the number of cars, I think it’s quality over quantity.
“When we add a race in a place we want to make sure it brings something special to the sport.
“We think Vietnam is a tremendously exciting country to add to the breadth of what we have in Asia, we think it gives us a good spread across Asia, with Japan, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia to some degree with the time zone there.”
Carey added that “we recognise there’s a lot of wear and tear in the sport so there’s limits to the number of races, we don’t have a magic number, I feel we have a little capacity [to expand].
“But I know if we ask a team or driver they’d end up saying we’d rather have 21 than 22 or 23.
“But we want to maintain that [historical foundation] but we do want to grow, in Asia and the Americas, so I think as we can find the right event we’d hope to take advantage of that opportunity, but there’s not a magic number, continues to be a bit of room.”
“There’ll still be a three day Friday/Saturday/Sunday event, it’s important for the promoters, but I think we can restructure the front end of it to give them [the teams] more flexibility on when they arrive.
“So we can take days out of the calendar elsewhere without weakening the sport for fans and make it more manageable for teams, drivers, everyone in it.”