F1 calendar expansion in the works

© XPB 

Formula 1 commercial director Sean Bratches says the sport is targeting an expansion of its race calendar beyond 21 races from 2019.

Present at Silverstone yesterday for Williams 40 years in F1 celebrations, Bratches revealed that next year's calendar would include 21 races, with Germany and France joining a schedule from which Malaysia has now been dropped.

"We want to work in partnership with our teams in terms of determining where we go," Bratches told Reuters.

"But our view is that we'd like to go above 21 and we want to be a little bit more proactive and go on the offensive in terms of the markets where we go.

"I've got an economic impact study in the marketplace right now to really understand the benefits of bringing the Formula 1 circus to a city, a country, a municipality, a principality.

"So as we start identifying an optimal calendar in optimal regions, we can go down and sit with cities and make our case as opposed to what has been a little bit more reactive to bids coming in."

"[Going beyond 21 races] takes a toll, both physically, emotionally and economically.

"We have to work closely with our partners on the team front to find out what the high water mark is and what makes sense for everyone."

Bratches sees a reduction in back-to-back races and a more territorial approach as potential means of alleviating the work-load and strain put on teams.

"We're trying to be respectful to everyone in F1, including journalists, to ensure everyone has an appropriate break with their families and some downtime," he said.

"We don't want to have too many back-to-backs.

"We're trying to align these things better by territory - the European races, the American races, the Asian races, but it gets difficult in terms of the weather and managing contractual guard rails."


Bratches also underlined the difficulty of manufacturing a calendar which avoids potential clashes with other high-profile sporting events.

"We are very interested in doing what's best for fans," he added.

"Next year there is a weekend where the Wimbledon final and World Cup final take place on the same day.

"It would be sub-optimal to have the British Grand Prix on that day. It's a tight schedule."


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