Ecclestone: Calendar expansion only 'devalues' Formula 1

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Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says that adding more races to Formula 1's schedule will only lead to a devaluation of the sport.

Next season's F1 world championship will include a record 22 races, with Vietnam and the Netherlands added to the 2020 calendar.

But that number is set to grow in the future to 24 events, perhaps as early as 2021, as commercial rights holder Liberty Media responds to increasing demand from countries and promoters across the world.

For Ecclestone however, a 16-race championship would be quite enough.

"It's definitely too much," the 88-year-old former F1 supremo told Auto Motor und Sport.

"Sixteen races are enough. The more races there are, the more the product is devalued.

"We have already experienced this super saturation in tennis. There are 100 tournaments, yet hardly 10 really matter.

"If there are only 16 races, the organizers have to pay more accordingly. And they will do it. Because their event would be all the more valuable due to the limited number of Grands Prix."

The winds of change will blow on F1 in 2021 when the sport introduces its new regulation platform.

Ecclestone suggests the recent string of spectacular races is an argument against any radical change.

"The last races were like Formula 1 should be," he said.

"If it stays that way then I do not see any problem with it becoming as popular again as it used to be.

"I see no reason for big changes. If so, then you would have to change something dramatically. For example, go back to naturally aspirated engines. But there's no courage for that."

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