Vettel against 25-race calendar: “20 is enough”

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel has spoken out against plans to increase the Formula One calendar to as many as 25 races in the future.

The sport’s new owners Liberty Media have raised the possibility of extending the calendar beyond the current 20 races and sporting head Ross Brawn believes teams could cope with as many as 25.

Vettel believes that would be too much of a burden for team members.

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“I think 25 is too many,” said Vettel in Melbourne. “20 is enough.”

“We don’t need more races. I think anything between 16 and 20 is the right number, thinking of the efforts going in from the team point of view.”

“I think for us [drivers] it’s fairly easy arriving more or less with hand luggage, doing the job and getting back. But for a lot of the team, for the staff, it’s hard work. I think we have enough races.”

However Lewis Hamilton said his team would enjoy a longer calendar.

“I think if you ask any many of my team if they want to do more races or less they will ask for more,” he said. “It is definitely tough on the guys that are travelling but they love it, they are addicted to it.”

“They love motor racing and of course they love time at home. I love racing so I’m not opposed to more races.”

Hamilton said he would like to see more variety in the weekend structure if the calendar is extended and urged the sport’s new owners to prioritise venues where there is an appetite for racing.

“I think they’ve got to change the structure,” he said, “if it’s the same four days for 25 races I think it’ll be too much.”

“If they spice it up and make it more… a period during the season that’s a more exciting than perhaps the other, I think there’s a lot they can do.”

“As long as they’re countries in which there’s a good following. There’s no point going to a country, for example Turkey which is a beautiful place but no one turned up to the race. If you go to places where there’s a real good atmosphere, you can create a great event, then that’d be awesome.”

Fernando Alonso appeared to drop a cryptic hint about his future plans when asked for his views on a 25-race calendar.

“We all love racing I think so more races will be always welcome,” he said, “but in a couple of years’ time.”

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Keith Collantine
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9 comments on “Vettel against 25-race calendar: “20 is enough””

  1. Sven (@svennheiser)
    23rd March 2017, 8:43

    Isn’t it the same case in Baku? The amount of fans we’ve seen there was kinda sad. Would love to see more races tho!

    1. Baku, as interesting a track as it is may not be on the calendar for much longer. Personally, I would get rid of Bahrain over Baku any day.

  2. more races just devalues the calendar. 16 was a perfect number, a race every two weeks or maybe the odd double-header to account for the mid-season break. (actually i’m not sure i like the mid-season break. a race every two weeks – keep it simple!)

    liberty talked about having 20 superbowls – that’s just dumb. there is one superbowl per year and it is such a feted event because there is only one. there is something to be said for having more variety on the calendar but that should be achieved through different types of tracks, not gimmick races.

    1. 16 races is way too few…especially for a schedule from march – November. There is no way to build true momentum without lits of back to back races. If NASCAR can do 36 races, then f1 can easily handle 25

      1. F1 was perfectly fine with 16-17 races for many, many years so I don’t think that ‘few’ would be an issue.

        As to Nascar remember that Nascar holds those 36 races in 1 country, F1 on the other hand travels all over the globe so the travel schedule is far harder.
        I posted not too long ago about how I was shocked at how hard the F1 travel schedule was when I joined as part of the FOM TV crew in 1997 having worked for several regional US series (Including Nascar & CART) prior to that. With Nascar traveling only across the US many races you tend to travel by road where it makes sense & you get to spend far more time at home between races. In F1 you are going everywhere by plane, Your going out to races on the Tuesday/Wednesday prior to each race & staying there until late Monday/Early Tuesday of the following week & even when you get back it’s usually straight back to base to prep for the next one & that doesn’t take into account the occasions your suffering from jet-lag & working on minimal sleep.

        Due to the nature of the travel & proximity of the races the Nascar travel schedule is far easier which is why there able to get away with as many races as they have. If you do 25+ races in F1 I can guarantee that your just going to burn everyone out which is why so many in the sport are firmly against the idea.

        1. F1 “could” hold 3 consecutive races in the United States which would be very travel friendly. My point is I don’t see the new owners cutting off 4 races for no sane reason. That’s not how you bring value to your bottom line.

    2. 16 races- particularly the days of 11 races in Europe- is a thing of the past, and good riddance- with F1’s ever growing appeal, 25 races should probably be the maximum but there should be regulations in place that see team personnel have to switch between races, which is something NASCAR does.

  3. I agree with Seb.

  4. More races would dilute the salience of a Grand Prix. Formula 1 has had perfectly well-paced seasons with 16-17 races.

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