“As drivers we are at the lucky end,” said Vettel. “Obviously for us it’s more races, yes, but I think for the teams it’s quite big stress for the mechanics. It’s a big circus, a lot of stuff needs to be put up in advance and for a lot of the guys it will be even tougher than it is already.
“But I’m not running the sport. I guess they make more money when they do more races. That’s what’s behind it.
“Personally I think I’d like to go back to 16 races. That’s how I grew up. I think that was a good number. It would give the drivers also the flexibility to do something else.”
The first F1 calendar featured just seven rounds. It grew to 16 by 1976, and between 1984 and 1994 every championship featured 16 races. Then the schedule began to grow again. The last 16-race calendar was in 2003, and seasons of at least 20 races have been the norm since 2016.
However Lewis Hamilton was more open to the idea of a 22-race schedule next year.
“It’s one more weekend,” he said. “If you ask the mechanics here they love being on the race weekends. So maybe some of them will say they wish they had more time with their family but ultimately they do love what they do, they do love being at the races.”
This weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix is the 15th race of 21 this year.
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2020 F1 season
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- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
- Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season
- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #1: Lewis Hamilton