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Teams will need more staff if Liberty add new races

2017 F1 season

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F1 teams have warned they will need to hire more staff, increasing their costs, if the calendar expands beyond the current 21 races.

A provisional 2017 F1 calendar with 21 races was revealed by the FIA earlier this week. However the sport’s new owners Liberty Media are known to want to add more rounds.

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said his team would have to rotate staff between race weekends if the schedule became any longer.

“I think we are at the limit already,” he said during today’s FIA press conference. “If there would be more races, we would have to have a rotating system with staff people.”

“And we don’t have reserve people back in the factory so that means we would have to hire some people.”

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said the situation was the same for his team. “I think that 20/21 races is quite a good number and if additional races come onto the calendar we also would have to think of a rotating system to bring in more people, because otherwise it’s difficult to handle everything.”

However he believes this could work if teams receive enough extra money from the calendar expansion. “If we have more races, we also have more income and therefore it shouldn’t be a problem,” he said. “In the end, there must be a profit for the teams otherwise it doesn’t make sense.”

Manor racing director Dave Ryan said a shorter race weekend would make it easier to incorporate more races.

“I go back to the days when we had 14 races and that was too many so 21 feels like it’s too many but if they’re talking 25 races… I guess it depends what the package is.”

“Maybe they are two-day events, maybe it’s a different format. Again, until we know what they really are asking for or what they’re thinking of, it may be that it works or not. We just have to wait and see.”

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Keith Collantine
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  • 22 comments on “Teams will need more staff if Liberty add new races”

    1. So, if the teams need more personnel to service more than 21 races, how much would that cost?
      If Liberty wanted to increase their revenue by selling three additional races in 2018 for example, what would that bring in? $15 million per race? And then if Liberty distributed 40 to 50% of that to the teams, it would be something like $20 m +. So about $2m per team. Would that be enough to finance a second set of pit and headquarters crew etc?

      1. It depends how many they need, and how much they’re paid. Plus training and integration. Then there’s the extra parts needed: an extra power unit each maybe, an extra chassis as teams normally make around 5 for a 20 race season, so I imagine 25 races would need an exta chassis, although that doesn’t account for testing (and also I don’t know the details of chassis usage so could be completely wrong). That instantly costs a lot more.

        I ran some numbers and got a similar figure; mine was $2.5M per team, average. I think that’s enough to cover the cost of an extra set of travelling staff, but the big issue for teams like Sauber, Manor, and Force India, is that they won’t receive the money (those that are entitled to it) until possibly two years later, as is the norm I believe.

        If they want to make it financially achievable they can, but it would need up-front payments to the teams, at least to begin with.

    2. I think it would be a waste if teams had to spend more money just to dilute the product further. The more F1 weekends there are, the more they clash with other things in people’s lives. There’s only so many times fans will put effort into recording, news-dodging and watching-back-later before there comes one weekend they don’t bother watching it back. Soon it’s routine to not to make an effort to watch races, and you end up ultimately watching less races than you would have done had there been fewer of them in a season. F1 becomes less special and you find more time for other things/series. At least that’s part of what’s happened to me over the last few years.

      Maybe Liberty are another company who aren’t bothered about having “fans” though. Maybe their plan is to chase after the millions of these mythical “casual viewers” who spend every weekend flicking through all the channels of their pay-TV package before stumbling upon F1 and deciding that it is the most vital thing in their life for an hour before moving onto Ice Road Truckers and forgetting about it completely. As if that’s a sensible customer-base to rest your business on.

    3. To me they should protect the following 8 tracks by giving them a discount on the fee and a garuanteed place on the F1 calander (provided they qualify to retain their ‘grade 1’ status and meet/update their facilities/fan experience level etc.):

      1. Spa Francochamps
      2. Silverstone
      3. Monza
      4. Monaco
      5. Montreal
      6. Interlagos
      7. Suzuka
      8. Albert Park

      (in reality I think Singapore and Abu Dhabi are ‘must-have’s too)

      The other races can then be alterenated in all kinds of different countries/key markerts that makes it a bit more affordable for the organizing circuits/governments and keeps the calander fresh without losing the heart and soul tracks of F1.

      Furthermore I think they should have region-legs to reduce logistical and environmental strain/cost. For example start off the season with a Asia-PAC leg followed by a European leg and the summer break, then an Americas leg and ending the season with the Ocianic-Middle east races.

      In this way the bulk of the freight and the team personel and media circus can remain in the genaral region for the duration of the leg ánd F1 as a brand has a chance to make a mark in the general region by prolonged marketing pressens around the consecuitive races in the region that are also on at locally convenient times.

      Combined with much needed groth strategies in area’s like social media, genaral content outlets, merchandising etc. this would be a great longterm direction to grow the sport and thus revenue for all stakeholders involved in genaral and Liberty in specific imho.

      1. ”Furthermore I think they should have region-legs to reduce logistical and environmental strain/cost. For example start off the season with a Asia-PAC leg followed by a European leg and the summer break, then an Americas leg and ending the season with the Ocianic-Middle east races.” – It’s easier said than done, for example, the Canadian GP can’t be held at the same time of year as the other two North American venues because Montreal is too cold in October and November.

        1. They can have the Canadian GP right after Monza, and then the Mexican GP and then the US GP. They used to have the Canadian GP in late September and then the Watkins Glen USGP right after that. The Singapore race is flexible because the equatorial weather is the same there every day, albeit with more rain in December/January.

    4. There are already too many races, and more precisely it has become far too routine. There’s no mystery anymore. It’s the same thing over-and-over. Boxes roll in, unpack car from box, start car, drive around, turn off car, place car back in box, next…

      If you went to F1 in the 1970s and 1980s then you likely know what I’m saying…

      1. Well Gary, most of us weren’t around in 70’s and for some their parents were berely todlers at the time.

        What was so different back then in your view? I assume it would roughly be turning up, drive around and leave again, no?

        1. @jeffreyj Back when there were less races every race felt like an event because they felt relatively infrequent been 1 every 2-3 weeks & a long off-season saw you really excited for the new season to begin. As the number of races has increased each one has felt far less important because there are far more of them. And with so many back to back’s this year they just haven’t felt as special or important as they once did.

          1. Ah, I can see where your coming from.

            I can see how the championship battle is now more like a 30 or 40 game football season grind. It’s a different type of story I guess. I personally quite like it but then again, I could watch an F1 race every weekend :)

    5. Staff is already overworked with 21 races…

      They should move to double crew and 30 races over the span ofnext 10 years. These races should be 3 more north America and several historic in europe. Like French, German GP and maybe Imola. Further 3 races should go where it is sesonally attractive.

      New revenue would cover second crew, especially if distributes more fairly.

    6. Think 20 races is a good amount. Of course as I enjoy watching F1 I’d ideally want them every weekend, as it gives you something to look at, but that would be unfair on the teams and drivers. Between 19 and 21 is good, and the teams are already doing that, and financing for it sufficiently, whereas adding 3 or 4 more races would. I also like the current race calendar, maybe move the one in America to a place like LA or Vegas, but there’s no need to have 3 in the same country. Only track I’d really like to see return would be Magny Cours in France, but I’m not sure which one I’d get rid of in its place.

    7. cantrecallmyusename
      30th September 2016, 18:45

      If they add more races then i expect the teams to be expensing a series of divorces within a year.

      Get rid of the middle eastern GP’s and replace them with US races where the general public can attend and wring out the money that way.

      Middle eastern GP’s only attract the wealthy minority

      1. ”Middle eastern GP’s only attract the wealthy minority” – I’m not a ‘wealthy minority,’ and yet I’m still going to Abu Dhabi in November, LOL.

        1. The Bahrain GP only attracts the wealthy minority. Abu Dhabi is probably more accessible because it’s a more popular event.

    8. I think 20 races per season is too many for a series that travels as much as F1. 20 or more just dilutes the product and its allure. Roll it back to 16 races and then add two participation-optional non-points races in the Persian Gulf, North America or east Asia. Brand them as four day Formula-1 festival or F1 All-Star Weekend. And these optional races would change locations season to season.

    9. I think they should stick to 20 races. The one I would probably drop from the current schedule would be Russia. If they want to bring an extra race in the U.S. I would probably look at one of the middle east races e.g. Bahrain to go or maybe even the far east. I think Europe could lose one race to be fair, if another region lost one first.

      As has been said above I don’t see why North/Central America needs any more than 4 races which it would have with one extra in the U.S. i.e. U.S. x 2, Canada and Mexico.

    10. I would drop Bahrain over any of the other Grand Prixs- including Russia. That is the most disgraceful Grand Prix in history- and if I had to drop another, it would be Russia. But I am probably one of the few people here that actually likes the fact that there are more than 20 GP’s on the calendar. If Liberty is going to increase the amount awarded to the teams, then that means they can hire more personnel, and they can then rotate staff- and that means those people get to spend more time with their families- each set of people does, say, 12 GP’s a season- hopefully those people are lucky enough to find spouses that are tolerant enough of their significant others being away all the time. Their income may go down a little bit but that might be worth it in the long run.

      If I had it my way, I would have at the most 27 Grand Prixs on the calendar- I would have Finland, France, Argentina, a second US round, South Africa, India, Tunisia, Hong Kong and New Zealand also on the calendar. 16 is too few- and anyway- F1 wasn’t really a world championship back in the day- it was a European championship that just so happened to have 1 Grand Prix on every other continent- the 1990 season had 11 rounds in Europe and 5 on other continents. It’s much more a World Championship now- even though there are some key European countries that are missing form the mix (Finland has never had a Grand Prix, France has been missing since ’08 but Monaco IMO has for decades been the premier French-related GP.

      1. Also- what they should do is keep races next to each other that are on the same continent- like, say, first have the Asian rounds all at once- start with Singapore, end with Japan, then start the European season with Azerbaijan or Spain, get rid of the June trip to Canada and end with Italy, then have the Americas rounds starting with Canada right after Monza and ending with Brazil, and then the Australian GP. That would reduce logistical costs- particularly moving the Canadian GP from June to September- the Canadian GP was originally held in September up until 1981.

        1. Singapore
        2. Abu Dhabi
        3. China
        4. Malaysia
        5. Bahrain
        6. Japan
        7. Azerbaijan
        8. Spain
        9. Monaco
        10. Russia
        11. Austria
        12. Britain
        13. Germany
        14. Belgium
        15. Hungary
        16. Italy
        17. Canada
        18. Mexico
        19. USA
        20. Brazil
        21. Australia

        1. The idea of doing this is great for the teams. However it is bad for the race organizers as people may not attend races back to back, but may attend nearby races that are spread out in the callender.

          1. Yes, this is true. The only real remedy to that is to spread the closer events (like Singapore/Malaysia or Austin/Mexico) as far as possible over that small timeframe. Maybe Brazil could be thrown in between Mexico and Austin.

        2. Abu Dhabi pay many many Dirhams to have the final race of the year so that isn’t going to happen

    Comments are closed.