Teams want upper limit of 20 races

2014 F1 calendar

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Start, Melbourne, 2013F1 team principals don’t want to see the F1 calendar rise above 20 races.

With nineteen races on this year’s schedule and three more planned for next season – in Austria, Russia and the USA – the 2014 F1 calendar could potentially include 22 rounds.

But most of the teams’ representatives in today’s press conference expressed a desire to cap the number of races at 20.

“Any more than 20 would be very difficult for a small team to service,” said Marussia team principal John Booth. “We’d start drifting in the area of having to have backup crews to rotate staff and that obviously becomes very expensive.”

“I think there’s a consensus about doing 20 races,” echoed Mercedes’ Toto Wolff. “Anything more, we need to ramp up the organisation. Let’s stick to 20, I think it’s a good number.”

But Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said he was willing to take on more races: “I’m happy as many races as Bernie [Ecclestone] can organise because we are a race team and if it’s 22 it’s 22, if it’s 24 it’s 24. I’m happy to go everywhere.”

He added that the calendar needs to retain Europe’s “classic races”:

“It’s one race in Germany, Monaco, Silverstone, Monza, Austria of course which is a new race on the calendar next year, we need to have more races in Europe and not just to go overseas”.

Booth agreed, saying: “All European races are very important, I think it’s where grand prix racing was born, and we need to maintain them as long as possible.”

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Keith Collantine
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55 comments on “Teams want upper limit of 20 races”

  1. Overseas is what kills them really. Adding a race in Austra, between the German and Hungarian GP for instance can’t do much harm…

    1. Overseas? Its an international sport… everything is overseas.

      1. As most teams are based in UK, evry race bar the British GP is overseas. Anyway, I love the traditionnal races of traditionnal Europe as Booth and feel for the smaller budget teams

        1. @jeff1s yes technically speaking every race bar the British GP is overseas but what I’m sure @fer-no65 meant is races where a) plane travel is required and b) where the time zones are sufficiently different that team members suffer from jet lag. So Central European races usually don’t put too much stress on the teams.

          What would help the situation though is if Korea went: it’s in an awkward time zone and is a race that doesn’t attract much attention. It could go and I almost wouldn’t notice. However, I think 22 races could be managed (I’m not a team member though!) but any more than that starts to get excessive – besides, why would we want any more than 22 races? That just means a Thai Grand Prix becomes more likely!

          1. Sorry to nag, but if they didn’t have to have 16-20 people to change tyres they could afford crew rotation.

        2. @joshua-mesh @jeff1s it’s not hard to understand what I meant, really. Bunch of nitpickers…

          1. @fer-no65 welcome to the Internet, my friend ;)

          2. @vettel1 ah it’s just a pretty place alright !

          3. @fer-no65 we could theoretically use it to unite people from all over the globe to do something constructive but what do we do? Argue with each other under the guise of mostly fake names and avatars about pointless subjects ;) It’s a great place though :)

          4. we could theoretically use it to unite people from all over the globe to do something constructive but what do we do? Argue with each other under the guise of mostly fake names and avatars about pointless subjects ;)

            But doesn’t that nicely bond us together then @andae23!

  2. Ditching South Korea and Bahrain sounds like a good plan. Korea’s GPs have pretty bad turnouts and haven’t produced superb races, and Bahrain is a political and social nightmare. #solvedthatforyoubernie

    1. @thrillerwa09 That’s what I was thinking, get rid of the boring/low audience/unsafe location races and bring back the Austrian GP, the French GP or new GP’s in fit locations. I would also add the Indian GP to that list of yours. There are so many beautyful circuits in Europe or North America (and the GP’s there would probably have pretty high audience too) that I just don’t get races like the Korean GP (on that awful Yeongam track with, almost no spectators at all) or the Indian GP (during which you really couldn’t tell if it was morning, noon or evening, because of the smog). I really like the Sakhir circuit, but Baharin isn’t a fit host for a Formula 1 Grand Prix at all (or anything else, apparently).

      1. Nah, India’s track isn’t too bad. And India is an emerging market, not a bad place for Formula One to have a gp. At least they can draw a crowd.

        1. The track is farily good, but the country stinks.

      2. Nah, India’s track isn’t too bad. And India is an emerging market, not a bad place for Formula One to have a gp. At least they can draw a crowd.

    2. Bahrain is a good track and in terms of politics, its no worse than the US and UK empires when they go on their conquests and invade countries.

      1. Bahrain is an OKAY track… it’s not fantastic. Only in recent years has it served up races that aren’t processionals. Sort of how Valencia was last year. You can’t count on Bahrain being a classic gp. But assuming politics are nbd, then let’s do Istabul, it’s a better track than Bahrain.

        1. Bahrain is an OKAY track… it’s not fantastic. Only in recent years has it served up races that aren’t processionals.

          I still don’t get why people think Bahrain always produces processional & boring races.

          Only races at Bahrain that were really dull were 2009 & 2010, Every other race held at Bahrain has featured some great racing & a good level of overtaking.

          2004 was a good race, 2005 was a great race, 2006 was brilliant with well above average levels of overtaking, 2007 was good with good racing & overtaking & 2008 was slightly less exciting but still featured good racing & overtaking.

          In 2009, Not much happened & in 2010 it was the extended layout that hurt the racing more than anything else.

          Also interesting how Bahrain nearly always produced more on-track overtaking than circuits like Spa, Silverstone, Monza & Suzuka yet Bahrain gets criticized for processional races & nobody ever complained about the lack of overtaking on those other circuits.

          Also interesting how when Imola & Magny-Cours were a part of F1 everyone always complained about how boring the races were there, Yet now those same people constantly say those circuits should be brought back.

          Also while I like Imola, I question if Imola is suitable for F1 now as the revised final sector has produced several big accidents in other categories & a lot of drivers have complained about the safety of a very fast blind kink in a straght with a concrete wall right next to the track.

          1. Thank you defending the Bahrain track. People tend to criticize for the sake of criticism specially after the political problems. The track in Bahrain is pretty good and technical, drivers find it challenging. The last two races in 2012 and 2013 have produced some great overtaking. I think people shouldn’t be against the Bahrain track just because of the political situation.

      2. Perhaps your right I personally would like to see Silverstone scrapped and replaced with 6 laps of the TT course if you think SPA is great think again.Isle of Man not technically part of The UK.

        1. TT course sounds great, don’t know if the residents would be to keen on the rest of the Island being turned into run-off areas though.

      3. If you think Bahrain’s a good track, then you’ll like the Red Bull Ring.
        It’ll be like Bahrain with hills, and spectators.

        1. Red Bull Ring (the former A1 Ring) is 4 straight lines and 8 corners. Not much of a circuit, especially compared to the one in Bahrain.

    3. If only it was about the sport…

      1. If only. But… No fans, no sponsors, no coverage, no sport.

    4. @thrillerwa09 You are right even if those countries have my favourite layouts unfortunately set in pretty ugly places.

    5. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      27th July 2013, 8:28

      I doubt Bahrain will be dropped.

      The Arabian royals are throwing too much money a Ecclestone for him to not include them.

  3. Agree 100%. Unfortunately, they’re not going to cut Bahrain as long as they’re paying what they do to host a race. I get the feeling the New Jersey race isn’t going to happen, though.

    1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
      26th July 2013, 17:45

      I’d like then to ditch Korea and to see the new jersey race go ahead. I,m now planning which races they should move.

    2. Bahrain race was highly rated.

  4. “It’s one race in Germany, Monaco, Silverstone, Monza, Austria of course

    Spa noticeable by it’s absence <_<

    1. Without Spa, F1 takes a huge step back.

      1. +1 Indeed.

  5. I wouldn’t mind if they cut the Korean GP, the Indian GP and the Abu Dhabi GP.. None of them really exites me. I rather see some new GP’s at Austria, Russia, New Jersey. If thats possible… well probably not. But each new races requires one of the old ones to be cancelled, so they need to come up with a plan.

  6. I think a lot of travel money could be saved if F1 follows the WEC’s lead by having three distinct ‘seasons’ within the racing season (Ie, European season, American season, Asian season). It makes no sense to me that the championship starts off in Australia, hops around Asia for a bit, returning to Europe, then flying to Canada for a weekend, back to Europe, then off to Asia again, then over to the Americas. Surely it’d be more logical to kick off the season in Australia and have all the Asian races at the start of the season, before having a European midseason and then ending the championship in the Americas.

    With regards to which races will be off the calendar, my money’s on Korea and NJ. Korea has had underwhelming attendance in an uninspiring location and nobody really expects New Jersey to go ahead. I’d love for it to happen, but I’m certain it won’t.

    1. +1. I agree totally. having Canada in the middle of the European season is strange. having races in Asia in 2 parts of the season is not ideal. Korea should go even though I think the track is ok.

    2. I suppose that also related to the fact they bring updates though: I’m pretty sure they bring the cars back to the factories during two week breaks anyway.

      A more linear order however could be:

      1 – Brazil
      2 – USA
      3 – Canada
      4 – Britain
      5 – Spain
      6 – Belgium
      7 – Germany
      8 – Monaco
      9 – Italy
      10 – Hungary
      11 – Bahrain
      12 – Abu Dhabi
      13 – Japan
      14 – South Korea
      15 – India
      16 – China
      17 – Malaysia
      18 – Singapore
      19 – Australia

      The only problem with the late season is that likely you would have to return to the UK at some point, which causes an unnecessary trip.

      1. Yeah..I used to wonder why their calendar was so disorganized…your suggestion to reduce flying is sensible..but you need to make a few tweaks.

        Bahrain and Abu Dhabi cannot be in the middle…because it will be too hot.

        1. @jaymenom10 that was highlighted below and you are entirely correct: also, Canada cannot be so early and realistically Britain needs moved forward also! There could be some problems with monsoon seasons also but I’m not entirely familiar with their timing so I’ll ignore that for now.

          1. @jaymenom10

        2. Oh dear, the tiredness is getting to me. Third times the charm! @ jaymenon10

      2. Here’s a draft schedule, thoughts?
        16.Feb – Buddh
        02.Mar – Marina Bay
        16.Mar – Albert Park
        30.Mar – Shanghai
        13.Apr – Suzuka
        27.Apr – COTA (linking the N. American races means the only realistic window is about here, any earlier and it’d be too cold for Montreal, any later and severe thunderstorms [then again, a tornado WOULD clear the clag,] followed by a Texas summer. By the time it’s cool enough in Texas, it’s too cold for Montreal.
        11.May – Gilles Villeneuve
        25.May – Monte Carlo (Usual time of year!)
        08.Jun – Paul Ricard (Magny Cours needs too much work)
        22.Jun – Silverstone
        13.Jul – NurburgHeim
        27.Jul – Spa
        10.Aug – A1-Ring (Preferably w/ proposed Westschlief layout)
        24.Aug – Sochi
        07.Sep – Hungaroring
        21.Sep – Monza
        05.Oct – Catalunya
        19.Oct – Istanbul/Yas Marina (alternating – would rather scrap the UAE, but losing Sakhir will cost Bernie too much as-is)
        02.Nov – Interlagos

  7. F1 team principals don’t want to see the F1 calendar rise above 20 races.

    My wife neither!

  8. I find it funny how the headline says “Teams want upper limit”, but the actual article quotes only two teams, only one of which actually wants the limit mentioned.

    1. Teams (plural/more than one) want it capped at 20 races.


  9. I have nothing wrong with more GPs, but I’d like to see a return of the older tracks rather than a load of new ones. I would much rather have Magny-Cours, Fuji, Brands Hatch, Imola etc. than have new tracks like NJ and Russia.

    I also agree with the idea of a “European”, “American” and “Asian” seasons. It would be a lot easier to cut down on costs if the calendar was organised by distance, so the next grand prix is always one of the closest to the one just held.

    Also, instead of having team members on a rotation, why not just start the season earlier/end later, and have an easter break as well? This would give all team members a well-deserved break.

    1. Well yes, but.
      What time of year would best suit the American section with boiling Austin, freezing Montreal and equatorial Brazil?
      And Asia too, Korea is cold, Malaysia has monsoons – so does Singapore.
      And of course, Europe can’t start earlier than May (see British GP in April) or finish later than early October.
      It’s awfully tricky working out seasons and continents. Next year it gets even more complicated with (hopefully) New Jersey and Sochi, both of which are slightly frigid from October to May and so they will be competing with the European races for a date.

      1. @timothykatz that’s a very good point, I shall add that as an asterix at the bottom of my hypothetical calendar (subject to Mother Nature)!

  10. The small teams can always drop out if they feel like when the costs starts to go big ans resume after the next two races to make it 20 races for them, the bigger teams that can afford out do 22 races. If it is too hard then drop a race for 2014 if they feel they can’t handle the costs

    1. They cant drop out and then come back. They have an agreement with Bernie to bring two cars to every race. Marussia ofcourse are an exception because they havent signed anything, but i doubt any sponsor would like that.

      1. In the press conference when I think it was Joe Saward asked about the 2014 Calendar there were five on the panel and most of them said no as 20 is the maximum but while STR team boss if its either 22 it is 22 or if it is 24 its 24. He seems keen about the expansion.

        1. Tost said the more races the more revenue.

  11. Why not just alternate all the races in groups of 4 races every year?
    It would work like this:
    1) Let’s fix the number of “official races” to 24;
    2) Every race is inserted in a group of 4 races, for example:
    Group 1: Australian, British, Chinese, Abu Dhabi;
    Group 2: Malaysian, Spanish, Korean, Belgian;
    and so on;
    3) We end up with 6 groups, each one with 4 races;

    4) The actual schedule would be composed by 5 groups (20 races). So each group would be taken off the schedule every 6 years.

    It means that every grand prix would be raced in 5 years in a row, then 1 year off the schedule.

  12. Wonder how they will fit in India into this in 2015. And didn’t know Mexico has a circuit ready to host F1!

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