F1 ‘could have 32 grands prix today because everyone wants one’ – Domenicali

2023 Australian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says interest in hosting races is so high the series could hold 32 grands prix.

The 2023 F1 calendar was originally supposed to include 24 races, the maximum permitted under the current agreement between the teams, F1 and FIA. However the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix cut the number to 23.

A job advert posted by F1 last year indicated the series is looking at a potential future expansion to 25 rounds. Speaking at the SportNXT conference in Melbourne this week, Domenicali indicated the series would be able to accommodate more than the current maximum.

“We could have already today more than 30, even 32 grands prix, because everyone wants one,” Domenicali claimed. However he said the series is satisfied with the current limit of 24 rounds.

Part of the calendar expansion has come about because F1 has added a third race in America this year. A new race on the Las Vegas Strip Circuit will join the Miami Grand Prix, which was introduced last year, and the United States Grand Prix in Texas which has been part of the calendar since 2012. Domenicali pointed out this was a rapid development given that “around three years ago we were considering if we were even going to stay in the US.”

The sport has enjoyed rapid growth in America, thanks in part to the success of Liberty Media initiatives such as the Drive to Survive Netflix series. This has brought a new generation of viewers to the sport. “One in three fans that go to the grand prix are going for the first time,” said Domenicali

F1’s decision not to replace the Chinese Grand Prix means there will be a four-week gap between this weekend’s race and the next round in Azerbaijan. Domenicali previously said F1 decided to leave the slot empty because “the economic benefit of a replacement race was not worth the logistical and sustainability considerations for F1 and our teams.”

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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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31 comments on “F1 ‘could have 32 grands prix today because everyone wants one’ – Domenicali”

  1. No. Everyone does not. It cheapens the whole series to do it every weekend.

    1. What about midweekers?

      It’s actually pretty cruel whoever is pulling his strings and sending him out to make a fool of himself.

    2. When he says “everyone”, pretty sure he means the track owners all want to host an F1 race, not that the fans want more.

      1. RandomMallard
        30th March 2023, 19:36

        Yeah that’s how I interpreted his statement as well. Still a completely valid point from falken though. I certainly don’t think we need any more races. 23 (+6 sprints) already feels like too much imo.

    3. I disagree, I think even 1 race every single weekend wouldn’t be a bad thing from a spectator’s POV, so you need to wait less for the next race instead of 2 or even 3 weeks sometimes, even more so in a season like this: more races, more chance to get a 1-off race where someone can compete with red bull, just like brazil last year where suddenly they didn’t have the best car.

  2. And still I hear dissenting voices saying they don’t want friday qualifying or sprint races…

  3. You get 48 immediately if you hit them with a reverse grid sprint. Lmao, just saying.

  4. Part of the calendar expansion has come about because F1 has added a third race in America this year.

    Las Vegas is the sixth race in America, merely the third in the United States. Canada, Mexico and Brazil being the other three.

    Domenicali previously said F1 decided to leave the slot empty because “the economic benefit of a replacement race was not worth the logistical and sustainability considerations for F1 and our teams.”

    So what’s he selling here? He claims F1 could have eight more races, but the teams can’t even be bothered to have one extra – and it’s actually not even an extra, but a replacement. Doesn’t speak to highly of those other 8 ‘rejects’.

  5. Just like about the same time last year when he said the interest level would ‘theoretically’ be enough for 30.
    Hopefully, this time around people won’t twist his words (for click-bait purposes) into something other than what he actually means.
    AFAIA from reporting at one time, going over 24, i.e., the default/base limit by one would require teams to vote in favor, which wouldn’t happen, given their general negative feelings about the increase in GPs over the years.
    Of course, the 30 & 32 references are only theoretical based on interest level as holding such many GPs in a year would be entirely impractical logistically, not to mention, no team can do enough rotation to cover such many events, so something that’ll never happen anyway.

    1. @jerejj On the other hand, negotiations for the next version of the bilateral Liberty/teams agreement is coming up; this is a way of trying to force teams to accept something that is harmful to F1’s existence.

      1. @alianora-la-canta Yes, the next Concorde agreement negotiations will start at some point, but I highly doubt teams would vote in favor of a change like this.

        1. @jerejj Most of them will if the alternative is to not race.

  6. Jonathan Parkin
    30th March 2023, 18:08

    I still wish it was just 17

  7. What on earth will he say on April Fools’ Day?

    1. It’s fine as it is, we’ll stop floating insane ideas now?

  8. Domenicali felt smarter back in the day. I think he forget how tough it is for the people working there and travelling 80% of the year. I bet more races mean more money

    1. @qeki As someone who used to work in a team, he certainly knows the practical & logistical limits that exist.

      1. @jerejj I hope you’re right. F1 is a business these days and if making money is the number one priority somewhere, sometime limit will be reached and F1 can’t grow anymore but I’m not sure how big can they make F1 before it collapses

      2. @jerejj I just wish he’d display some sort of understanding of that, because he’s already pushed F1 beyond breaking point from what I can see (it’s just taking time for the other shoe to drop).

        1. @alianora-la-canta He displayed understanding after a similar reference last year by acknowledging the unrealism aspect, nor did he say on either occasion that he’d actually ‘want’ that many, which is different.
          People seemingly just wanted to interpret him differently for clickbait purposes.

          1. @jerejj That’s a good start.

  9. I think we should re-introduce non-championship races.

    Some Formula 1 fans complain that there are too many races and it is difficult to dedicate so many weekends to the sport, but that they can’t miss one because it is hard to keep track with the story of the season. They also think races are devalued because there are so many of them. Other fans want to watch as much racing as possible. If there were only around 16 races counting for the championship each year, but another 16 non-championship individual events, then that would please both sets of fans.

    Also, in terms of the teams, not everyone has to turn up to every non-championship event. Yes, this would reduce grid sizes often, but in this world where I am running Formula 1 there would be far more teams anyway because they are not obliged to enter every championship race either – there is pre-qualifying and only the top 26 cars can enter, so the teams that rarely make it onto the grid for the championship races will have more of a chance in non-championship races as some big teams might not enter. There is also only entry fees for individual races, and they are far smaller than the current system, to keep costs down for smaller teams. But there would be individual prize money for the non-championship races to encourage teams to enter, and it could also help them gain experience and become able to enter the championship races as well. Although there would be fewer fans, circuits would also have to pay less to get a place as a non-championship event.

    I also think there would be considerable appeal to these races. People often hark back to the days of Georges Boillot because the drivers and teams weren’t concentrating on a championship as a whole before the 1930s and just wanted to win individual events, which makes them more likely to go for it, and the race more exciting. And there are plenty of famous non-championship races of the past such as the Jim Clark vs Stirling Moss battles of 1961 (as their rivalry never really got going due to Moss’ crash at Goodwood in 1962), and Keke Rosberg’s extraordinary victory in wet conditions in Silverstone 1978. It would also be interesting to see races where the smaller teams are battling for victory because the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull might not bother entering some races.

    1. It’s probably far too expensive these days for that. One of the big reasons Ecclestone and his cohorts got their way was that selling television broadcasters a series with a predictable number of participants, the same teams, the same heroes and villains, was just a much better product than what F1 had been before. That also allowed the teams to command a premium from their sponsors, who knew in advance how often and where their logo’s would be displayed.

      Also, this concept sort of exists in Indycar with the extra cars at some superspeedways, but people (fans and participants) generally don’t like the idea of someone turning up for one event. Sportscars has also tried to get rid of this as much as possible, requiring full season entries for things like the WEC and ELMS and limiting the number of extra cars for big historic races.

  10. Good for Max. He will pass Schu and Hamilton in just a couple more seasons. With the spring races we are already at 30 or so. Let’s go for 50. If you’re going to ruin F1 really go for it.

  11. Something i eas told end of last year was that the data they have available mirrors what has been seen with other categories that features more than 20 race weekends.

    That been that as the number of race weekends goes up the smaller the percentage of fans who watch every race is.

    Data suggests the sweet spot is 17/18 where something like 80% of fans say they watched every round. Above 20 the percentage drops surprisingly sharply and goes down further if you include sprints.

    Double/Triple headers also apparently lose fans each weekend with the 3rd of a triple header seeing less engagement.

    However more races allows them to pad total viewer numbers for the season and make more money from broadcasters and circuits. So ultimately they don’t really care about the drop in the percentage of people watching every race as it doesn’t end up costing them any revenue….. If it drops too much however they may start to care.

  12. From the look of it, the FIA can’t manage the current number or anything like it. There’s no way it’s magically going to manage 32 races, even if it thinks it can.

    So unless Stefano Domenicalli can find a way to prise F1 away from the FIA, there won’t be a season with 32 races in it because F1 wouldn’t last long enough for that season to finish.

    1. @alianora-la-canta The biggest obstacle to 32 (or 30, etc.), if that were an intention/desire, would be how much staff rotation teams can do as they can only do so much, especially in the budget cap era, so definitely not enough for that many events.

      1. @jerejj If the FIA can’t sort itself out, infinite flexibility from the teams won’t help. (Especially since it’s the FIA that currently limits teams to 10 substitutions per season in paddock staff).

  13. I’m generally good with a large amount of races, if there’s a long fight for championships.

    Otherwise, end of season is just dreadful.

  14. And if “everyone” has one they become less prestigious.
    Wrong type of language? Ok try this, le$$ valuable.

  15. This man really needs to stop talking. It’s embarrassing

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