Former Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone says that F1’s overweight and oppressive race schedules are damaging the sport.
Ecclestone, according to the German media outlet Blick newspaper, is currently holidaying in Ibiza, Spain, with his family and former F1 team boss Flavio Briatore.
“Bernie is always the best medicine for me,” Briatore, the former Renault F1 team boss said.
While relaxing in Ibiza, 90-year-old Ecclestone and Briatore have clearly been discussing the current and future Formula 1 calendars, which are now routinely targeted at more than 22 Grands Prix per season.
Before the 2021 season ends, seven more Grands Prix will take place with only three off weekends during that period in total until the Abu Dhabi finale.
“This is how you annoy even the biggest fans and destroy interest in the TV too,” Ecclestone said. “18 races is enough. But now you’re destroying many families with this unnecessary stress and trampling on your health.”
The series had only 16 races on its schedule as recently as 2003. There have been at least 20 races on the F1 schedule since 2016. The 2021 schedule is at at record 22 races, and all signs point to a 23-race schedule for 2022.
“I can anticipate that, for sure, the calendar will be done with 23 races,” said Domenicali in an interview with Sky Sports. “Of course we will be very respectful towards the COVID regulations issued around the world from the different governments. But that is our aim that F1 can give this sign of hope and to go to normal things to enjoy.”
While many would like to see the F1 schedule trimmed, the trend seems to be that future schedules could push the number of races to as many as 25. Already, F1 has cut 10-year deals this year for new future venues at Qatar and Miami. Saudi Arabian Grand Prix officials are racing to ready a new circuit at Jeddah for a first-time event in December.
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