Start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Teams to vote on record 22-race F1 calendar for 2020

2020 F1 season

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Teams are being asked to vote on expanding the 2020 F1 calendar to a record 22 races.

The proposal was put to them at a meeting between team bosses and Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey at the Hungaroring today.

The current F1 sporting regulations set a maximum limit of 21 races. The unanimous support of the the teams is therefore needed to increase the limit to 22 for next season.

As part of the deal, teams have been told there will be no increase in the maximum number of engines per driver. The present limit of three will remain, meaning drivers will have to use a single engine for up to eight races in order to avoid a penalty.

Teams have also been offered a reduction in the amount of pre-season testing. Instead of two four-day tests, a pair of three-day tests will be held.

The desire to increase the calendar to 22 races has come about following a last-minute move by the Spanish government to keep the country’s round at the Circuit de Catalunya. This year’s race was the last in its current contract. It remains to be seen where it would fit into next year’s calendar given the addition of new races in Vietnam and the Netherlands.

These are among 19 races which are known to have contracts for next year. Monza has also indicated it will extend its deal to host the Italian Grand Prix. If either the German or Mexican Grand Prix remains on the calendar along with Spain, next year’s calendar will feature 22 rounds. The popular Mexico City event is thought the most likely of the two to keep its place.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 33 comments on “Teams to vote on record 22-race F1 calendar for 2020”

    1. I vote a resounding “YES” to more F1!

      1. If they do 12 back to back’s (with a normal 2 week break in between like they do now) and one stand alone race, we could have 25 races from march till the end of november and still have a summer break in between. I’m all for it.

        1. That’s unreasonable for the teams and everyone involved.

          1. No it isn’t. The teams get a share of that money too. If they think it’s too hard on their employees they could use it on to hire more staff and have them work in shifts.

            1. @jeffreyj Not now there’s a budget cap going, that is calculated on the apparent assumption of single race crews!

            2. @alianora-la-canta All teams bar the top 3 spend significantly less than the proposed budget cap, so that isn’t an issue I imagine.

            3. @jeffrey They spend less than the budget cap now. Second race crews are not cheap, and for some of the midfield outfits it could send them over the limit.

    2. As part of the deal, teams have been told there will be no increase in the maximum number of engines per driver.

      Teams have also been offered a reduction in the amount of pre-season testing. Instead of two four-day tests, a pair of three-day tests will be held.

      I’m confused – this is worded like it’s a good thing. How is that so?

      At the end, they’re two events, of slightly different duration. Would the 25% cost saving by dropping a day each be significant next to the flat logistics cost of making it to each test?

      Ditto for the engines.

      This just reeks of Liberty grasping at the fact that they’ve got an additional race to stick on the calendar, without giving any notable concession to the teams.

      1. @phylyp I agree there must be more to it.

        1. There is: more money

    3. No.
      Let’s drop some “new” circuits instead?

      1. Tracks that, imho, should be axed (in order): France, Russia, Zandvoort, Abu Dhabi, Azerbaijan, Barcelona, Monaco and Mexico

        Tracks that should come back (in order): Malaysia, Hockenheim, Imola, Estoril, Istanbull and Watkins Glenn.

    4. There are too many races now, I love F1 and have for most of my life but it’s got to the point where I can’t really justify committing 22 Sunday’s a year to it. And if like me you also follow Indy, Moto GP etc I just don’t have any time for anything else! I feel like In the near future I will have to make a choice between watching the races or actually doing something other than sitting in front of the tv! I’ve heard it’s no good for your health… go figure!

      1. You dont HAVE to watch it all you know…

        1. @ivan-vinitskyy You do know that the less individual fans watch, the less advertisers pay the broadcasters, therefore the less broadcasters pay Liberty, therefore the less income F1 gets?

          1. Ivan Vinitskyy
            6th August 2019, 7:19

            @alianora-la-canta are you seriously suggesting we should watch more ads to help f1? Mindblow!

            1. I doubt that’s what @alianora-la-canta meant. But, rather obviously, more races won’t mean more money from the advertisers if there’s not a linked growth in viewers of those ads.

              I personally have to agree with what Stu says, more races does not mean I automatically will be watching more of them; this year already it has been difficult to balance family, and travel plans with trying to have time to watch the races. In fact, there are several races that I only was able to follow via the F1 app (somewhat, one reason why I haven’t renewed my F1tv pro subscription yet).

            2. Ivan Vinitskyy There wouldn’t be much point with most broadcasters, who have no way of telling whether you’re bothering to watch any of the ads that are shown.

              However, there is an assumed value placed in presenting a given ad, in a given way, on a broadcast. Part of that value is assessed on how many people watch a given F1 broadcast, and which general parts are most seen (standard metrics give it in segments of 5-15 minutes, though I believe 60-second analyses are available because sometimes peak times are provided that way). Above a certain point, the total numbers at a time decrease (because people are only watching a proportion of the season, or a proportion of the coverage). At this point, advertisers demand being charged less money, because they assume they’re getting less value from it. That leads to broadcasters not being able to justify paying so much to F1 for their coverage, as they still need to break even or turn a profit. This means Liberty and the teams get less money…

              I think you can see where this is going.

    5. God, please, just no. While I absolutely suffer when there is no F1 on the weekends, more and more races totally diminish the value of each of them and so far I’ve only been talking only about the fan experience. When it comes to the actual sport and the championship, a single (or even two) horrendous perfomances have less and less impact on the title campaigns. I can imagine more races in the future, but only under the radical overhaul of the calendar (continental zones or something similar).

      1. I would rather people’s championship expectations were to diminish. It’s not all about points or finding this year’s champion, extra races means more quali, more racing, more income for teams.

        1. more income for teams

          @ivan-vinitskyy – umm, how does this increase income for the teams? Liberty gets paid by one more promoter, so good for them.

          But the teams are paid for an entire season by Liberty, aren’t they? And not on a per-event basis. If anything, the increased logistics costs are probably going to work against the teams.

          1. @phylyp More income for Libery means more, in absolute terms, will be shared with teams and should offset the extra cost of logistics.

        2. @ivan-vinitskyy Not if reduced energy means the teams are able to put less into each quali and race. In fact, that would lead to the opposite effect on the quality of qualifying and racing.

          Income from Liberty has been going down over the last few years because increased income has been eaten up by Liberty’s overheads (which are taken out prior to income-sharing). I’m not convinced that increasing the number of races would do anything but increase Liberty’s expenses to match.

    6. I remember when we hit 20 races there were concerns about the effect it would have on team personnel. I wonder where they think the limit is now?

    7. 22 races are okay when the race and qualifying happen on one day. Getting rid of free practice 1 and 2 would also reduce the need to spend four days at a circuit.

      This would (1) benefit the unpredictability of races because of less data, (2) create time to rest between races, even between back to back races.

    8. @squaregoldfish I know a majority of team personnel would rather the calendar not go beyond 20 & most actually feel the season should be 18/19 max.

      It’s easy as a fan who only watched on TV & so only has to dedicate 22 weekends (22/44/66 days depending on what you watch over a weekend) to say more is fine but remember the guys that work on the race teams are spending far more days than that away from there home, families etc.. Believe me it’s nowhere near as easy let alone as cool, fun or glamorous as a lot of fans seem to think it is.

      And also bear in mind before saying “They knew what they signed up for” that many of them started in F1 when the calender was sub-20 races so never signed up for 20-22+.

      —-

      Also on a side note.

      Something you see with things like NASCAR (Which has 36 races) as well as other sports is that when you have more races, games, matches or whatever you actually start to see more fans picking & choosing what they watch rather than watching everything.

      1. @gt-racer A F1 team member signing up as late as 2009 only signed up for 17 rounds. That was only a decade ago, and I estimate that’s 30-40% of the people doing trackside duty.

        This is why several teams are having to consider split duty as it is (that is to say, use two sets of race crew, dividing the races between them).

    9. It’s starting to feel like too many because as the number of races has gone beyond 19 watching each one has started to feel less special & more routine. Not to mention how more races means more clashes with other categories & events as well as less time to do other things.

      Too much of anything is never a good thing & I started to hit that point when we got to 20 races & often now get to the last 2-3 races of the season totally fed up with it & looking forward to the season ending so I can have a break from it.

      And yes fine we don’t have to watch every race… But I love F1 & want to watch every race live as I have every race since the start of 1995.

    10. Can’t say i’m a fan. 18 or 19 feels like a perfect number, 20 is marginal & I just feel that 21 & especially 22 or more starts to dilute the product.

      Like @stefmeister says

      Too much of anything is never a good thing

      & I think 22 is too much for those in F1 & I think it’s going to have an impact on those dedicated motorsport fans who want to watch all the f1 races as well as other categories.

      I’ve begrudgingly had to move a few things I wish to follow down the priority list as it is due to the increased amount of F1 races causing additional clashes & more F1 races in a season is only going to make that worse. Although I guess they only want you to watch F1 as I doubt Liberty care much about any other categories been unable to find a free weekend to run on.

      1. @roger-ayles For me, it already feels like too many races. Not only because of not getting time to fully digest the more interesting ones, but because it’s tending to make the championship decided (or as good as decided) earlier and earlier in the season. There’s usually a drop-off in fans during the summer break due to it being August anyway, but when it’s obvious who’s likely to win, it tends to be more pronounced.

        In every case during the hybrid era, it’s either been almost certain Hamilton will win, or the momentum has been going to one particular driver. The more races in a season, the less momentum is needed to give the impression that title victory is assured and it’s just a question of counting down the rounds intil the inevitable occurs. It doesn’t help when that assumption is wrong (as it would have been in 2016) if the viewer making that assumption stopped caring about F1 for the season six weeks earlier.

        For myself, being forced to highlights has helped some… …but the more races, the more difficult it gets, even then, and when there are inevitably some races in a given year that don’t work out (not necessarily the same rounds each year), it makes for an over-stretched feel.

    11. I think this is academic because I’m not convinced the new tracks can actually be delivered after the Miami mess (granted that the noises from Zaandvort are more positive than from anywhere else so far in the Liberty era). That would bring it down to 20 or 21 races, depending on whether one or both of the new races fails to materialise.

      However, an increase to 22 races pretty much gives the championship to Mercedes before anyone starts, because the 10-place grid penalty that would inevitably be obtained by Ferrari and Red Bull due to engine trouble (which I think Red Bull is going for this year), or the reduced power they would need to run to avoid this (I think Ferrari is doing this because they have to get their engine stores through 19 races to avoid penalties this year) would end their campaign. It also sends a message that Liberty can do this in the future, when there’s more chance of converting to an actual championship. Therefore, although the small teams are likely to be mostly/totally in favour (depending on if any think the “split race team” threshold, and its additional expenses, are met), Red Bull are likely to vote no* – and Ferrari almost certainly will.

      * – The one thing that might stop Red Bull from voting “no” is if Liberty suggests that Zandvoort would be the dropped round if 22-race schedules are refused. In practise, the threat would be empty due to contractual requirements, but I’m sure Bernie would have tried it…

      1. LOL, that’s a very Bernie likely strategy @alianora-la-canta, and good points about what allowing this once would mean for such decisions going forward.

    12. i want mexico in f1 calendar bahrein sochi baku china abudhabi out from f1 and sihgapooore too not tradicional circiut.

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