Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Singapore, 2019

Verstappen criticises F1 bosses over 22-race 2021 calendar

2020 F1 season

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Max Verstappen criticised Formula 1 bosses over plans to expand the schedule to 22 races.

Although the 2020 F1 calendar has expanded to include the Dutch Grand Prix which will be a home race for Verstappen, he believes there are too many races on the schedule.

“I don’t agree with 22 races a year,” said Verstappen. “I think we should just pick the best tracks out there.

“I know they want to make money but they also have to think about the mechanics who rock up to the track. I mean, they arrive on a Monday or Tuesday to build everything up while the big bosses arrive on a Friday or maybe even a Saturday morning and fly, even during the race, back home.

“For them it’s not a problem, they can do easily 30 because they only away for two days. But for most of the people it’s at least five, six days. And I’m not even complaining about us [drivers]. It’s more the mechanics they can file a divorce straight away.”

Verstappen also echoed the criticism of plans to trial qualifying races, which could include a reverse-grid element, in 2020.

“I think it’s nonsense,” he said. “I don’t see the point. Everybody should have a fair chance of doing the best qualifying they can and that’s where you deserve to start.

“I also don’t like reverse grid races. I think it’s all bullshit.”

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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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7 comments on “Verstappen criticises F1 bosses over 22-race 2021 calendar”

  1. Formula 1 has enough history observing the chaos that results when faster cars start behind slower cars. It doesn’t need more accidents to increase viewership. Formula 1 needs uncontrived racing, where drivers skill in racing well matched cars can result in passing.

    That will mean cleaner aero and hopefully wider tracks. We don’t need more accidents.

  2. Well said, Max ! Economy rules everything, but on the principle he is right: 22 GP is insane and I’m not sure it’s a long term benefit to “dilute” F1 that way. As for reverse grid… man, this has nothing to do in F1. Worse gimmick ever, not even worth of FE. Leave that to… dunno… nothing ?

  3. I’m starting to like Verstappen.

  4. I couldn’t agree more with him. Yes, the old saying goes ‘money talks’ but even money can’t justify absolutely everything. Solely based on that argument, every single weekend of a year should be a race-weekend given how much revenue/income that would create, but practically impossible. There’s a limit to everything, and the current number of races, or the figures within which it has varied throughout this decade (19-21) definitely isn’t a problem revenue/income-wise, so no need to excessively go above that. ”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” He’s also spot-on concerning the reverse-grid format idea as are the qualifying top-three.

  5. Jose Lopes da Silva
    22nd September 2019, 0:00

    Logical comments. Boring.
    Bring Villeneuve and Rosberg.

  6. 22 is too much and the series could do with getting rid of some of the tracks where racing is too predicable.

    Warn a few others to look at track changes or moving their circuits to more interesting tracks

    The Paul Ricard [France] and Albert Park [Australia]

    And just outright get rid of a few that F1 has outgrown. Monte Carlo (For example)

  7. I only realise the immense work and prep that goes on behind the scenes on a race weekend when the F1 circus comes to my home city of Singapore. The city is buzzing, the teams get here on a Monday night and then leave the next Monday. So that is effectively 22 straight weeks already. Add to that the pre and in season test days and the times at the factory and you have got yourself the best example of what kind of work-life balance not to have! Also, this is not your typical 9-5 engagement with mechanics having to work 16 hour days (or more even). So yes, a little consideration is due to them. Having two separate teams for two halves of the season doesn’t work owing to cost factors (which F1 is very touchy about), so that only leaves us with one option: reduce the race weekend to Saturday-Sunday. That one day saved every 22 race weekend would go a long way for those who aren’t at the level of the “big bosses”.

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