McLaren pressing for 'ideal' 20-race F1 schedule in the future

© XPB 

McLaren F1 boss Andreas Seidl would like to see Formula 1's future campaigns focus on "exclusivity and quality" with ideally 20 races held over the year.

The sport is currently on course to feature a record 22 events this season, a number that is expected to be expand to 23 in 2022 as Miami joins the calendar.

As teams contend with grueling double and triple header weekends, growing the number of race dates will only increase the already heavy burden on personnel.

More races equate to additional revenue for commercial rights holder Liberty Media, which trickles down into the team's coffers.

But Seidl thinks that an approach based on exclusivity and venue rotations could yield the right balance between the sport's financial returns and the teams' sustainable efforts.

"In terms of race calendar, I think from our side, Zak [Brown] and myself have made clear what we think should happen moving forward," said Seidl, speaking in Sochi last week.

"Regarding, let’s say, having the right balance between the commercial interests we all have and regarding the workload we can put on our people, we think a calendar moving forward which is focusing more on exclusivity and quality with around 20 races per year.

"Maybe 15 races as fixed events and the possibility to rotate five venues year by year to be able to explore new markets or new venues.

"And obviously it is important when scheduling these 20 events that it is done in a way that it is also sustainable for our people, environmentally also sustainable.

"At the end it is Stefano [Domenicali’s] job and responsibility and we have to trust that he finds the right balance there as well between commercial interests that we have as a team and also in terms of looking after his people, our people and you guys [media].

"The most important thing is we have a good dialogue with F1 and the FIA."

In order to lighten the heavy burden on team personnel during an event-packed season, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has suggested a mandatory rotation among the crews, an approach already implemented in part by the Brackley squad.

"I think we have the best man in charge to balance between income and workload in Stefano," said Wolff.

"On the other side, he has been running a team and he knows the strain on people and that strain is enormous, particularly on the mechanics that need to be there much earlier, take the garage down, not always travel as comfortably as all of us and that needs to be taken into consideration.

"We have a rotational scheme in there to take some of the pressure off, but I believe maybe we can come up with some innovative thinking and make rotation mandatory if it is within what we can afford.


"We have a lot of young engineers in every area that are not yet on the battlefield life because there is a senior there who is the best in the group.

"But maybe that’s an opportunity to actually put them in the hotseat and put a ceiling on the race attendance."

McLaren's Seidl says he would be on board with a crew rotation scheme as suggested by Wolff.

"First of all, the idea Toto mentioned I think we have brought up two years [ago] but unfortunately there was not enough support from the teams," he said.

"So hopefully with the calendar we have in place now, there is a chance to discuss again the topic because that’s something we could also definitely support from our side."

Red Bull's Christian Horner also believes there is a need to balance the sport's commercial interests with the welfare of its travelling community.

"It’s a grueling calendar," he said. "It’s like in any sport, the thirst and demand for Formula 1 is what it is and it’s always trying to measure that balance. I’m sure we could have 35 races if the promoter got his way.

"It’s finding that balance between not needing, effectively, two crews, that you can do it manageably with one crew to do an entire season.

"It’s gruelling, it’s demanding and particularly through these COVID times, with the calendar changing and triple-headers coming in and you look at the logistics of part of the tour later on with Brazil, Mexico and then to the Middle East, it’s tough. It really is tough.

"I think the way all of the teams have dealt with that has been phenomenal and we are certainly not getting people saying ‘I don’t want to be at a race’. It’s balancing that."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

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