Bernie Ecclestone, 2011

Ecclestone: teams could cope with 22-race calendar

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Bernie Ecclestone, 2011In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says the teams would be able to cope with an even longer calendar than last year’s 20 rounds:


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Ecclestone wants three extra Formula One races to create a bigger season from 2014 (City AM)

“Having races in the right place is what matters. The teams could probably deal with 22 races.”

Boullier: Lotus more secure than rivals (Autosport)

“Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus or Williams, we’re all teams, our core business is Formula 1. So we should be here for a long, long time.”

McLaren play down Honda link (Sky)

Martin Whitmarsh: “There’s a lot of speculation and I’ve heard Porsche, Hyundai, Honda, all those sorts of names. I hope for Formula One that these manufacturers come back – we need them in the sport. At the moment we’ve got Renault, Mercedes, Ferrari; we need more engine suppliers.”

Renault to return to Le Mans (Racecar Engineering)

“The engine supply deal is likely to lead to a full works LMP1 effort in the future possibly using the Renault RS34 Formula 1 power unit. Which complies with the 2014 LMP technical regulations.”

Vijay Mallya exits Forbes rich list as fortune dips (The Times of India)

“Mallya is missing from the list for 2013, which was released last night by the business magazine Forbes that is known for its rankings of rich and powerful from across the world.”

First lady of Formula 1 takes control of the track (CNN)

“[Monisha] Kaltenborn has fought for recognition in a sport where another team boss – whom she is too polite to name – once mistook her for Peter Sauber’s interpreter. ‘It was an elderly gentleman who has a different kind of thinking,’ she said. ‘He soon realised and was highly embarrassed.'”

F1???s five rookies for 2013: What you need to know (NBC)

An article on F1’s five new rookies for 2013 I wrote for NBC’s MotorSportsTalk blog yesterday. Read more on each of them here:


Comment of the day

@Lin1876 on Which team has the best driver line-up for 2013:

No one stands out as being much better than the rest, but I would say Red Bull have the best proven line-up. Vettel will be relentlessly quick, and if Webber has a good season they could be untouchable, so that?s my vote. Ferrari probably have the single best driver, and also have a second driver who could go either way.

McLaren, Lotus, Mercedes and Sauber will almost certainly be unbalanced, with one driver picking up more points than the other. All could be in the hunt if their cars are good enough. Bottas looks good, better than Maldonado, but he?s a rookie. The rest don?t stand out.

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On this day in F1

Jackie Stewart won the last Tasman series race of 1966 having already scooped that year’s championship in his first attempt.

Stewart’s BRM was followed home by team mate Graham Hill and Jack Brabham, in his own car, in the final race at Longford.

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  • 84 comments on “Ecclestone: teams could cope with 22-race calendar”

    1. Teams say Bernie could cope with a pay cut.
      …and a haircut to be honest.

    2. Elderly gentleman – Bernie?

      1. Elderly team boss — Frank Williams?

        1. Very much possible, fits with him being highly embarrassed about it afterwards.

      2. @icemangrins In the article it says she started in the sport around 1998 so I doubt it would’ve been Bernie because he stopped being a team principle in the late 80’s I think?

        Plus the anti-doping tweets are hilarious!

        1. ah.. I just read.. and she stated team boss !

          right about anti-doping tweets.. gotta love Daniel Ricciardo

      3. Could be Jackie Stewart, he was running his own team in the late 90s.

        1. I bet a fiver that it was Dennis.

          1. Ken Tyrrell?

          2. Eddie Jordan?

    3. why not round it of to 25?

      1. Na, its Catch-22, more races and moneys but less family time.

        1. It’s all good that Bernie considered the teams, on a 22 race season. However, he’s failed to run the idea past my wife. Let me tell you, she isn’t happy, her words “That means I lose my husband for another 2 sundays a year… I suppose they’ll be in the middle of the night as well?”

          She’s very astute, chances are the races will be in a timezone so unfriendly to Australia, that I’ll be sitting in front of the tv at 4am, eyes wired open, and when the race has finished, I’ll have to be quiet as a mouse not to wake my darling wife.

          C’mon Bernie, think of the wives and parnters of F1 fans, especially the ones that are in Australia…

          Come to think of it, Bernie is a little selfish.

          1. This is why he has been married a gazillion times

          2. LOL dragoll, I have empathy for your Missus …. ;-)

            I, on the other hand, do prefer the Aussie GP as that is the only race I have my peace from the family. Sitting at 3am watching a GP without anybody disturbing me is one of my highlights of the season. They are awake though during the Asian GP :(….

          3. vuelve kowalsky
            6th March 2013, 10:45

            your wife is your problem not bernie’s either ours, but i can see the point.
            Sorry for my rude awakening.
            There must be a limit for the fans, when they start getting too much f1. And i think 20 is about the limit.

    4. Bernie always wants more races, since it means more revenue. I don’t expect he cares one iota for the personal strains experienced by the team crews under the present 19/20 race calendar, let alone the burdens of another couple of races.

      I wonder whether, if Formula One is serious about further expansion of the calendar, they might have to consider a NASCAR style system where you have multiple crews on rotation. Of course, that would involve extra cost, which might be feasible if the commercial rights holders were prepared to share a greater proportion of the revenue generated by the extra races.

      1. From a commercial perspective, more races means more exposure. Which is something F1 can, in non-core parts of the world lack entirely.

      2. I guess that is exactly what is being negotiated here @tdog.

      3. Don’t think you would need to provide teams with more revenue. The revenue the teams receive is a fixed percentage of the ‘pot’. If more races were to exist, their organisers would contribute a hosting fee, which means more money for the teams, which could go to covering the cost of new crews.

        Teams aren’t necessarily against more races – it gets them more money.

    5. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      6th March 2013, 0:54

      Funny thing to go and surprise the drivers waking them up for a doping test. I wonder if Kimi was at home early in the morning :P

      Now on a serious note, if Bernie wants 22 races, or 30 races, he must reduce his profit’s share and give more money to the teams so they can really deal with it. He’s so exageratedly billionaire he doesn’t really needs to charge so much for a track entry (and needless to say, he doesn’t need to apply that interest rate every year to the circuits organizers) . That would help more venues to get in,

      1. Now on a serious note, if Bernie wants 22 races, or 30 races, he must reduce his profit’s share and give more money to the teams so they can really deal with it.

        Do you honestly think the teams don’t negotiate things like this, and instead let Bernie walk all over them?

        1. To me it seems its exactly that point of negotiation where Bernie tries to push one thing, to get a better deal on something else. As you write, its negotiations in the works.

          1. @bascb – I just don’t get why people seem to think that Bernie gets whatever he wants and that the teams just lie down and take it. Of course he’s going to need to give them something in return for expanding the calendar, but for some reason, people like to make out that it’s a one-sided fight.

            I suspect it stems from the way people are under the impression that the teams don’t like Bernie and only tolerate him because they have to. As far as I’m aware, the teams are all on good terms with him, but people wrongly assume that because they dislike Bernie and like the teams, that means that the teams dislike Bernie.

            1. I think a good chunk of that viewpoint because the teams often can’t agree on anything for the good of all the teams as a whole when they can get some concession that benefits one particular team. Thus, Bernie can weaken the teams’ positions if the teams aren’t in agreement about working together during negotiations rather than selfishly looking after their own interest. It’s the same reason CVC and Bernie get to keep such a huge chunk of F1 profits right now.

            2. I do get it why people feel that way: It because the teams are foolish enough to let him split up every union they form and is just so good at the negotiations that he always gets a deal that seems to be more favorable for him/the parties he is representing than for the others (that is not to say its a bad deal, just that its better for one side than for the other).

              As for the teams being on good terms with Bernie – even if they would not be, they know where the money is coming from so would still behave that way.

      2. CVC want all the moneys they can get their greedy little hands on.

        1. When Bernie bought the “Formula 1” brand from his buddy Max he gained a weapon that could deny the teams at least a years total income if they did not accept his terms. When it looked like the teams were ready to call his bluff Bernie sold this weapon to CVC, now as a shareholder and CEO of FOM Bernie takes as many golden eggs as he can without killing the geese, the geese in turn realised that many of them could not survive a year without food so let Bernie have so many eggs that the weakest die but the rest survive for another year and hope Bernie will give them more food.

    6. I thought the teams had put their foot down and said that 20 was the most races they would do? Berine is really pushing his luck (or winding up the teams) by talking about 22.

      1. That is what you get when a concorde agreement is not signed quite yet. Bernie pushing the envelope during negotiatons.
        With all the new races that are supposed to come on in 2014-2016, and everyone wanting more money from FOM, Its a logical step to do more races. Off course it does mean the teams are strained for resources and people will get tired of all the travel, so its no all that sure it will happen.

    7. As a race fan… I love more. But this being an international event, I am not sure how the teams and the drivers can take weekly international travels.

      NASCAR does weekly races but that is just one country. They just truck around the whole country with the crew and equipment. I am not sure how multi-Continental travel can achieve this.

      1. Love your avatar :)

    8. So any guesses about Maldonado´s future now that Chavez is gone (RIP).

      Maybe this year is secure, but not sure about the next one.

      1. @celeste – Although PDVSA is run by the state, and the state was run by Chavez, I don’t think his death will affect anything. Pastor Maldonado isn’t the only driver the company supports; almost every Venezuelan driver – Rodolfo Gonzalez, EJ Viso, Samin Gomez Breicno, and so on – is backed by PDVSA. The only exception seems to be Johnny Cecotto Jnr., but that’s beside the point. PDVSA have a widespread sponsorship programme in motorsport, and one that gets them plenty of coverage. And by virtue of that, Venezuela gets coverage.

        The only way it might end is if there is a protracted power struggle in Caracas, and Chavez’s successor ends the entire programme.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys @celeste Pastor is at a crossroads this year. A year like 2012 (with less crashes) might make him attractive to a team closer to the front (Lotus if Grosjean fails to deliver, or maybe even Mercedes) and should make him much less dependent on PDVSA funding. But if his 2011 self shows up, that might make things tricky for Pastor moving forward.

          Another way of seeing it is if Pastor (and Bottas) improve Williams’ WCC standing this year (and get the team more prize money), that may also make up for any reduction or elimination of PDVSA sponsorship, assuming Pastor’s contract is renewed.

      2. I think Maldonado just has a secure contract for this year. I highly doubt he’ll get so much (if any) state sponsorship in the future, but if he really excels this year, maybe just maybe he’ll get one of the few seats that don’t demand 5million+ but I think he’ll get beaten by Bottas and cast aside.

      3. If anything, Maldonado is good enough to where he should be getting paid to race instead of paying for his seat.

        Still, the fact that Williams hasn’t picked up any new major sponsors is a shame, and it’s borderline criminal if they end up winning multiple races and still can’t get any new backers.

      4. I would say that now Williams will learn about how good a contract they have really. On the other hand, if Maldonado keeps it clean, and gets the results, I would say Venezuela would like to not change anything much.

    9. Just for interests sake, does anyone know if there have ever been any troubles with doping in F1?

      1. As far as I know, Tomas Enge is the only Formula 1 driver who has ever tested positive to a banned substance; he failed a drugs test and was found to have been using marijuana – but that was more than ten years after he left Formula 1.

        1. thatscienceguy
          6th March 2013, 9:05

          Tomas Enge has been done twice for drugs, once the year after he left F1, and then again last year.

        2. Yes he was tested positive on drugs (marijuana), but not on performance-enhancing drugs.

      2. vuelve kowalsky
        6th March 2013, 10:49

        enge likes to smoke a little before getting laid. Is it a crime?

        1. thatscienceguy
          6th March 2013, 11:28

          actually, yes, it is.

          And last year he tested positive at an international race meet.

          1. It is illegal and them’s the rules – but in terms of improving performance, marajuana wouldn’t be the drug of choice! If anything, it would be more of a hinderance…

        2. Yes!

    10. It honestly annoys me how whenever the issue of more races arises, there is always lots of griping about it. Surely any race fan should be excited about more races?

      If the calendar was structured in a more logical way, and Bernie swallowed his pride and added another 1/2 European races, the teams could easily cope with 22 races (probably more).

      One structure might be to divide the calendar into three 7-race sections – An Asian season, a European season and an Americas season – then have the finale separate. Each of these sections lasts 8-9 weeks, with a 3 or 4 week break between each. With a two week break before the finale, you’re looking at a season lasting no more than 37-39 weeks, giving enough time for the winter break/testing period.

      If the extra races bring more money into the sport then hopefully that will go to the teams, and they will be able to afford to have slightly larger race teams to take off some of the pressure.

      Of course, supply/demand would dictate that Bernie might need to reduce race fees a bit if he were to introduce more races – perhaps he has realised that with his famous increasing fee contracts race fees have got as high as they realistically can without tracks dropping out, so is looking for an excuse to reduce fees slightly without him losing money (or face).

      1. I like that Socio-Economic aspect of your reasoning …… very nice indeed!

      2. Surely any race fan should be excited about more races?

        Think about having Christmas every month instead of year. Do you not think it would lose some of its appeal?

    11. Howcome its Alonso and Parez being tested again, 2nd time in a row? Do you think they suspect those two of doping and are trying to catch them?

      1. doctor ferrari ?

      2. I imagine there are other drivers who’ve had the test but just haven’t tweeted about it previously.

        1. yes, I am pretty sure that is the case @andrewtanner.

      3. Those inspectors seems like ********, if they came knockin that early id tell them to bugger off

        1. @kelsier It’d be your last act as a professional sportsperson.

          1. Because Kelsier was completely serious in his comment…

            if they came knockin that early id tell them to bugger off

            “Go away, you’re ruining my mood and the good stuff wasn’t cheap!” :)

          2. Sure, but given the choice of a lie-in and being a F1 driver, I know how that would go. Nice to see Checo and the boys are made of stronger stuff

      4. Keep in mind that there are only 17 drivers in this year’s field who were around during the last test. So the odds of more than one driver getting picked twice are probably not that short.

      5. Or maybe the other drivers are not tweeting about it, so we don´t know if is only Perez and Alonso being tested…

    12. McLaren-Hyundai, yea that’s going to happen

      1. The uncertainty about Mclaren engines creates a possibility for interesting combinations:

        Mclaren- Proton
        Mclaren- Opel
        Mclaren- Daihatsu
        Mclaren- Nissan…
        How about Mclaren-Mitsubishi?

        1. @sergio-perez don´t count on Nissan, since Nissan, Reanult and Infiniti are the same

      2. I’d love to see McLaren-Volkswagen =D Although sadly I don’t think they would use the brand Volkswagen, most likely Audi or Porsche or Lamborghini.

        1. Mclaren – TAG Porsche doesnt sound too bad but maybe Mclaren- Yamaha would be more fun

      3. Since McLaren road cars now have McLaren engines, how long until we have a McLaren-Mclaren?

        1. As they are positioning themselves as a “Ferrari” competitor in the road car business, Mclaren Mclaren makes more sense. However Ferrari has the ressources of FIAT for engine and car manufacture when needed, and Mclaren, well, has Mclaren. They would probably need to grow significantly to be able to create a competitive Mclaren engine for F1… Another one: Mclaren Volvo. How about Mclaren Mini (BMW with a sense of humor returning to F1 with Mini engines in a Mclaren would be a play of genius in my book! And they could fulfil Rowan Atkinson’s F1 dream in a “Shooting day” with him in the car in full Mr bean attire!

        2. If there was a time to do it, then 2014 would probably be the time. They built there own engine for the MP4-12C remember, and that was a few years back now. Manufacturing the standard ECU can’t be too much of a hindrance either.

          Interestingly, if the RRA had come into force properly, then it might have been more likely to happen as some staff might have been shifted to a sister engine department. Who knows, they might be designing a V6 F1 Turbo as we speak anyway?!

      4. Although the new formula provides relevance and research/testing opportunities for fuel efficient Hybrid engines it is hard to see how any new manufacturer could gain good PR value when engine development will be frozen befor the first race of 2014.

    13. Great news if Renault is really going to take their F1 engine into LeMans. Would be nice if it also brings Ferrari back to do something alike with a F1 engine based LMP1 (or at least LMP2) car. Then Mercedes might be pulled in to do the same and we could have all of Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, Toyota, Peugeot, Ferrari, Renault, Nissan competing.

      Even better if we find out Honda have been working with McLaren, but not about an F1 deal but towards making a LMP1 car as well :-)

    14. As a fan, I would love to watch an F1 race every weekend, like you have it in NASCAR. But the team personnel are overworked already now, the tight schedule and many flyaway races exhaust them and significantly increase the risk of getting ill. Mexico and Thailand are the most likely next additions to the current calendar, which means two more long haul flights. For sure, teams could hire more people to decrease the workload per capita but it would increase costs, which again brings us to the topic of the current business model of F1 and its (un)sustainability.

      1. I’d say, Bernie’s offsprings are finding it rather sustainable. :) Don’t know what overworking are you talking about. I bet his kids haven’t worked a day in their life. :)

      2. vuelve kowalsky
        6th March 2013, 10:53

        bernie has a solution to the problem. free falcons for each team as a gift for the next concorde agreement signing.

    15. Bernie really wants to go to CT and I will have to say 2014 or 2015, that will make it 21. Mexico will join next year and Thailand should join next year as well that will make it 23 i.e. 1 more then 22. They should really make it that Sochi will have either August or October and Mexico will go in November and Thailand in April. Do 1 more in August and start Albert Park earlier by a week or two

    16. It will be interesting to see how the Australian Grand Prix saga develops, because Victorian Premier Ted Ballieu has just resigned.

    17. Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu has resigned, he was a supporter of the Melbourne Grand Prix.
      New premier, Denis Napthine was previously major events minister is the new premier.
      It is not clear if he is for or against the Grand Prix :S

      1. Damn, beat me to it

      2. All shall be well! Just do not panic ….. Politicians come and go.

    18. The best way the teams can cope with more than 20 races is to hold more than one race in a race weekend, like practically all the other racing series do.

      1. It works with bikes, touring cars and feeder series because they are 2 much shorter races. I for one am very much halving the length of a Grand Prix as it is in its current state, races should be around 1 and a half hours minimum in modern F1.

      2. I don’t think shorter races would be to the benefit of F1 in all honesty @debaser91 : the current length allows for enduring duels and fantastic recovery drives (such as Vettel’s in Abu Dhabi or Alonso’s in Valencia), and those would be disrupted if there were shorter races. I think the current set up strikes a good balance, and contrary to what Bernie says 20 races is fine!

    19. According to some sources they say that Melbourne would stage a nightly Grand Prix
      In other news about Thailand they will host the first ever GP in 2015. It looks as though CT, Mexico will be staging races unless the organisers agree with Bernie

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