Whitmarsh not expecting more than 20

Thursday 08-August-2013 07:05

Martin Whitmarsh says Formula One should support Bernie Ecclestone in his plans to expand the sport especially in light of the current economic climate.

Next season Formula One will once again include new venues on the calendar with Austria, New Jersey and Russia pencilled in, although the latter two are in doubt.

However, should all three join the circus, it would push the schedule beyond the 20-race mark.

And although this has raised some concerns within the teams, Whitmarsh says it is good for F1 to continue to enter new markets

"In fairness to Bernie he has been pretty good at finding new venues," said the McLaren team boss.

"In this (financial) climate there are always locations in doubt, so therefore having some back-ups is not a bad idea.

"I don't know if the calendar will grow to 22. It would certainly be incredibly tough on the teams, but that's the business we're in.

"We all thought a few years ago that going beyond 16 would be tough, and a lot more of them are outside Europe now.

"Myself and the drivers have a comparatively easy time compared to the guys who build the cars and do all the back-to-back races, it's very hard.

"But we have to support Bernie. Formula One needs some of these new venues - Russia is an interesting market.

"But with questions marks over some of the venues we have, you have to keep the conveyor belt rolling, and he's been pretty good at orchestrating it so far."

But having said that, the Brit doubts that F1 will go beyond the 20-race mark.

"Personally I don't think there will be more than 20 next year, but it is for others to speculate on which races will be on the calendar."

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