F1 teams concerned about 21-race calendar
Formula 1 team bosses are concerned about plans for an unprecedented 21 grands prix next year.
Earlier, it was believed the sport had set an upper acceptable limit of 20 races per season.
So when asked about the Bernie Ecclestone-penned, 21-date provisional 2016 schedule now rubber-stamped by the FIA, Lotus driver Romain Grosjean grinned: “I think the limit would be the divorce!”
Indeed, the concern is that pushing beyond 20 races is so hard on some in the paddock that teams might have to begin to consider rotating staff.
“I think that if there is more than 20 then you do need additional staff and resources,” said Sauber chief Monisha Kaltenborn. “Then you have to consider what is the possibility (to do that) of the private teams.”
Not only that, next year’s schedule – including an arduous 7 sets of back-to-back races – has basically eliminated the now-traditional summer break.
“It looks tough for everybody,” Red Bull’s Christian Horner told AFP. “Tough for the whole factory not to have a summer break. I think it’s important that we have one.”
And Kaltenborn said there is also the risk that 21 races goes beyond what the public wants.
“On the one hand,” she said, “it’s great for F1 to go to new countries, which may be important for our sponsors. On the other, it may be detrimental if the public perceives that there is too much.”