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 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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