Christian Horner has come out against adding further races to the Formula 1 calendar, insisting that 23 is “saturation point” for the sport.
The schedule has continued to expand year by year, with a record 23-race calendar having been pencilled in for 2022 before the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix, although a replacement race is expected to be organised.
The current Concorde Agreement between the teams and the sport allows for up to 24 races per season, but there are increasing concerns that team staff members are being over-worked and burning out due to the ever-increasing demands placed upon them.
McLaren team boss Zak Brown proposed that the sport should limit its calendar and rotate certain races year by year to keep the schedule manageable, and Horner agreed.
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“With 23 races you have already reached saturation point,” he said, as quoted by Motorsport-Total. “Maybe you have to think again about a few other races in the calendar.”
The news of Las Vegas’ arrival into the sport from next year has raised questions about whether or not Formula 1 will reach its 24-race limit when the new calendar is confirmed.
While the majority of drivers are in favour of heading to Vegas, some have spoken out with their thoughts about how losing historic venues would be detrimental – with Pierre Gasly saying that it would be “a shocker” to see Monaco disappear from the schedule, for example.
“In the end, some races will have to pay the price and be out,” added Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. “I’m a big fan of going to Miami and Las Vegas, but at the same time it would be a big loss not to have some classic European races anymore.
“Hopefully we can find a compromise where races that can’t afford it every year are at least on the calendar every two or three years.
“Business is business and Liberty Media and Formula 1 have to do what they have to do, but just for business I wouldn’t want to stop racing in Europe.”
Sainz’s countryman Fernando Alonso agreed that an increasingly packed calendar is likely to be the way forward for the sport, but acknowledged the issues that would bring in its own right.
“This is the way Formula 1 is going,” he said. “We have to accept that.”
“It’s really challenging for the teams, especially since we don’t have so many races in Europe anymore. That’s the worry if we keep adding races.”
Are 23 Formula 1 races too many?
Ross Brawn has claimed that he hasn't seen any fans complain about next years calendar.