Alonso in favour of expanded F1 championship

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso does not mind the calendar expanding to 21 races because it takes F1 to new audiences.

The FIA approved a record 21-race calendar for 2016 which will see the addition of the Grand Prix of Europe in Azerbaijan as well as the return of the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. While Alonso enjoys racing on traditional circuits - many of which have dropped off the calendar in recent years - he says the inclusion of new venues is a positive to expand the sport's global appeal.

"At the end of the day it doesn’t change anything for us," Alonso said. "Going to some of the circuits that we raced on for all our careers, like Imola, Magny Cours, Istanbul – they are nice tracks and there is nice tradition there so you enjoy racing at those circuits.

"When you go to new countries, you open the sport up to new people and to new generations so it’s also quite a good feeling.

"We are travelling a little bit more. When I started some years ago, there were 16 races; now ... they have planned 21 and most of them out of Europe, so it’s definitely more demanding in terms of travelling and preparing the championship but as I said, it’s the direction that the sport chooses and there is the advantage of opening up Formula One to new countries and this is also good news, I think."

Eric Silbermann: A winter's tailwind

Five things to look forward in F1 in 2016

Key dates for the 2016 F1 season

Use the red tabs on either side of the screen to scroll through more Formula One news and features

Technical feature: All of the 2015 F1 steering wheels

Best of ... Scene at

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter