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Carey: There’s room to add more races to F1 calendar

2019 F1 season

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Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey says there’s room in the calendar to expand beyond the current 21-race schedule.

[smr0901]A new race in Vietnam will join the 2020 F1 calendar but five races – the Spanish, British, German, Italian and Mexican Grands Prix – do not have contracts for next season. However Carey is confident F1 will either renew these deals or add new ones.

“We had a number of renewals last year just like we have a number of renewals the year before,” he told a Liberty Media investor call last week. “There are different issues in each one.

“I think the most positive aspect of that is we have we’re increasingly encouraged by the breadth of interest of new parties who want to commit and that really is the dynamic that’s important for us for supply and demand. We value our races, [some] are long-term partners, some not quite as long. I think our first approach is if we can get to a place that works for both of us, is to renew races.”

The 2019 F1 calendar features 21 races, as the 2018 schedule did. However this year’s championship begins a week earlier and ends a week later. This could create room on the schedule for extra races even if all the current rounds extend their contracts.

However Carey says F1 is prepared to drop races which do not offer good value for the sport.

“We’re not necessarily always going to be able to get there but to make sure we’re getting fair value it’s important that we have alternatives in places that provide not just attractive finances but attractive races. An example being in Vietnam, we think it’s going to be an exciting new place to go those objective growing in Asia. And it’s a win-win for both of us a so it really ticks all the boxes.

“We have a races really around the world that we’d like to add, races including not just new markets but some traditional markets like western Europe. So I think it is engaging with partners, seeing if we can get to a place that works for us and try to judge that against the opportunities we have in other markets.

“That is a process we’re engaged in now with the renewals for 2020 which won’t be different than every year. We always have some three or four negotiations we have to go through and I think as we’ve gotten a few years under our belt, I think we increasingly feel pretty good about the trajectory of that and the ability to continue to have a healthy business there. And we are looking and we’ve talked about it I think there’s room to add a bit to the race calendar.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 32 comments on “Carey: There’s room to add more races to F1 calendar”

    1. However Carey says F1 is prepared to drop races which do not offer good value for the sport.

      I’m just petrified that his definition of value and that of fans differ.

      1. I’m just petrified that his definition of value and that of fans differ.

        As far as that is concerned i don’t think it can get worse than Ecclestone in his last years. Liberty Media is clearly listening to the fans and backtracking wherever they see they made a mistake or something that the fans didn’t like. Obviously they won’t bend over backwards to every minor request that fans have but they’re better than Ecclestone was when it comes to listening to the average fan

        1. @xenn1 – I agree with your point for other decisions. However, in my opinion, the choice of venues is unlikely to be influenced by fan input, simply because the stakes (and amount of money) involved is extremely high, and there are a variety of stakeholders that need appeasing (think of the proposed Miami GP), with fans being very low down that list.

          1. @phylyp – I definitely agree, but on the general scheme of things i think Liberty will be much better for the sport than Ecclestone was over his last decade in charge. I might be naive but that’s the way i see it.

            1. I agree with you but it’s a bit like saying getting punched in the face is better than getting kicked in the balls….

            2. As Mike Tyson noted.
              “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.”

        2. nailed it

      2. I feel a bit the same way. But then “more races” seems to be a constant refrain from Carey.
        Considering that one of their expenses that increased last year was logistics I’m not sure where they will derive “value” by adding more.

    2. This is basically, nothing but a rehashed article of another one of the same topic that was posted a few days ago, no wonder the quoted phrases seemed so familiar.

    3. Can add at least 31 races..

      1. Run all races in the UK, one every weekend on the same track. Vary the track configuration and run some races in the opposite different direction. All year long. Lol.

        1. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
          4th March 2019, 19:53

          @melthom Can you imagine how insane Eau Rouge would be in reverse?!

          1. Basically the corkscrew at Laguna Seca lol

    4. i want that zolder back in f1

    5. Quality over quantity any day!

      How about focusing on getting more teams involved instead of more races…

    6. It’s possible to have lots more races but as has been discussed in the past, the more races you have, the less each one matters. With 10 races, each race is vital. With 20 races, each race matters half as much.

      1. The most important point that everyone keeps forgetting. I believe it would be profitable for many venues to hold the race bianually and this way we might have amazing venues with restricted budgets alternating. Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Portugal, Spain…and even second American or Chinese race. 18-20 races is and ideal.

        1. This is what I think Liberty should pursuit, as a fan of more 20 years. Alternate Germany and France, bring back Sepang and alternate with Singapore and so on. It will increase the prestige of every race. Only keep races like Spa and Monza and Suzuka as historic core and run every year.

        2. Agree.
          F1 should be like the Tour de France. Different cities every year with some classics returning in (almost) every edition.

        3. Suppose you are the owner of a grade 1 FIA licensed circuit. It costs a small fortune to run it. It costs tens of millions on top of that to host a round of the F1 championship, but you do get maybe 250,000 paying customers through the gates, generating revenue for you..

          Now, if you made a profit doing that, you’d want to do it every year. If you made a loss, why would you want to do it next year, or even at all?

          I just don’t get how alternating one year on, one year off is to your, or anyone’s, advantage.

          1. Nailed it!

            Completely agree with that assessment.

            That’s a solution that somehow worked for the Nürburgring and Hockenheim as both had financial difficulties to host the event.

            Don’t see Liberty going that route at all.

      2. American baseball (160 games per season) versus American Football (16 games per season).

        First add more teams… so many that not qualifying well enough might mean not racing! THAT will add value and increase interest.
        Too many races dilutes the sport.

    7. Why not a core schedule of ~10 historical races that happen every year and make up the rest of the calendar rotating through the 20 or so other tracks getting a race every other year or so.

    8. I don’t know if there is a need for extra races when you have a predictable outcome. Say there were another 4 races last year, one has to assume Hamilton would have won at least one of them, he might even have won all 4 of them. Or maybe a Mercedes driver wouldn’t have won them, and that the results would have been shared between Ferrari and Red Bull. Unfortunately, the almost certain sharing of the podium places at those extra races between just 3 teams is a sign of an unequal championship.
      If Liberty Media want more races then other things need to be fixed first, especially the level of competitiveness through the grid.

      1. Sums up my reaction. Couldn’t agree more.
        My COTD.
        @drycrust

      2. I think the problem here is that the Championship could have “physical” room for more races, but there is not “logical” room for more. In fact, I think there are too many races if the goal is to maximize the interest of the championship. With all circuits being very similar in configuration, the car-developement rate being determined by money, and the strict technical rules, normally the differences between the teams don’t vary very much during the Championship. And if there is variation, is to increase the gaps.

        If Liberty want to add races, I think they could think in non championship races with special rules, or things of these style, this would be fine for me, but I think the championship should not have more than 20 races.

    9. Try keeping some races on the calender rather than adding more Mr Carey.

    10. no there’s not, and there’s no need for it, either

    11. Losing the archaic August break would be a nice move.

      Cue the whinging about millionaires and dreamjobbers needing a month off in the middle of the season.

      1. @v12beard It’s less about the drivers needing a break than it is the thousands of backroom staff and engineers who have to work basically every single day and nowhere near being “millionaires”.

    12. I wish they would focus on quality over quantity. Even right now F1 has lost that focus with most of the new Tilke circuits having quite limited personality. I always think back to the Brazilian GP circuit. It’s such a short lap, a handful of corners, lots of elevation change so every part of the circuit is easily differentiated and identifiable at a glance. Then you look at some of the Middle Eastern tracks with little to no elevation, massive painted run off areas and five thousand boring technical corners just arbitrarily planted in the desert. I watch these races on TV and frankly I have no clue where the hell they are on the circuit when I look at the screen, the whole track looks the same, there’s SO many corners and the whole thing feels too technical and just not interesting to watch. Also with Brazil you have a really great overtaking opportunity at the first and third corners and due to the short lap you get far more chances to overtake naturally because there’s more laps you can cram into the time, all equalling more excitement.

      I wish we had quality of just the circuits themselves improved, nevermind adding in more and more random pop up tracks (especially the average street circuit ones) makes it even more of a struggle as a casual fan like myself will never get to know these places the way I feel like I just “know” a circuit like Brazil.

    13. Chase:

      “Theres room to add more races to the calendar”

      Literally the rest of the paddock:

      “There’s already too many races on the calendar”

      This isn’t just about the drivers and other high profile team members – this is about the crews that work behind the scenes to keep this circus going. F1 is at its busiest when the rest of us are sat at home with our feet up, but those same guys and girls are working during the weeks before and after every weekend too.

    Comments are closed.