F1 CEO Chase Carey would like to see the F1 calendar expand to 25 races, and he feels the incoming format changes will allow for that to happen.
Since taking over the sport in 2017 Liberty Media have made it clear that they wish to expand the F1 calendar in terms of the number of rounds, but also branch into different parts of the world.
For 2020 the Dutch and Vietnam GPs will create a record 22-race calendar for F1, but Carey feels that some format changes will allow for it to work and for more races to be added without team personnel becoming worn out.
For 2020 pre-season testing has been cut from eight days to six days, and from 2021 race weekends will be shortened to three days with Thursday’s activities worked into the Friday schedule.
“We have put in place the ability to go to 25 [races per year] and we’ve been equally clear like with the teams it is a matter of quality not quantity,” Carey said in Abu Dhabi as quoted by Crash.net.
“We are not trying to fill a number of slots. I think we care deeply about it and that is why we put efforts into trying to address and take some of the wear and tear off with the three-day weekend, which we think is still an essential part of our sport but we will modify Friday to provide less wear on the weekend.
“We have also modified testing by shortening the winter testing and reduce the in-season testing. All this is to manage that wear and tear and I think we can do more and we will continue to try to find ways to minimise that to build and healthy and global sport.
“We want to grow into a place like the US so then a second race in the US is important to grow the sport and having a broader presence in Asian too. There is a pressure of how you grow the sport unless you take it out of places that you don’t want to.
“Currently we do not race in Africa and I think it would be great for us to have a race in Africa. I think there are other visions and priorities in the sport that are important and we are very focused on achieving what is important for the sport for everybody in it.
“Ultimately the jobs for the people come from having a healthy sport. I think for everybody’s benefits we need a healthy sport and we will try to do it in a way that is aware of the pressure and wear and tear.
“I go to 21 races each year and will go to 22 races next year. Now I don’t necessarily go for the same length of time as others do but I am aware of it. It is a sport that has its challenges and I guess people decide to be in it with an awareness that there is a unique attraction and problems.”
FIA president Jean Todt, who has played the down the speculation of 25 races in the past, does think that people need to realise that working in F1 is a privilege.
“I feel we are so blessed as we are in a world where we love what we do, we have the passion and we are privileged, whoever is in Formula 1 is privileged,” he said.
“Of course you have some duties – when I was in other positions in the sport I was working 18-hour days, six or seven days a week – because I had passion and I wanted a result. If you have loving family they will understand that and you don’t do it for all your life.
“We should not forget and we should be decent because we have an eight billion population and 800 million people that don’t have enough to eat or drink or have vaccinations. We are here to talk about Formula 1, but we must not close our eyes and forget what is happening for other people and other communities.
“We have to be blessed and all those in Formula 1 with much higher salaries and income than any other business they should be happy. It doesn’t mean it isn’t hard work but simply I think we should think about our position.”