Too many F1 races held in Europe

Date published: December 23 2016

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost feels that too many races on the Formula 1 calendar are held in Europe.

In the 2017 season, seven of the 20 races will be held in Europe, and from 2018, that number will rise to eight due to the returning French Grand Prix.

With that in mind, Tost pointed out that the F1 chiefs have to look elsewhere in order to grow the sport.

“For me, we must head to other destinations. There are too many grands prix in Europe,” he told Austria’s Tiroler Tageszeitung.

When asked about which destinations F1 should target, Tost labelled South Africa and India as the two biggest places where no races are held.

He added that more races need to be held in the United States, while South America should see more action as well.

“I know that I have a different view compared to my colleagues, but we should go to South Africa, we need more races in US, we need to go to Argentina, and India would also be a really important market,” he said. “Formula 1 is a global sport. In 2015, in total half a billion fans watched our races live. Such numbers are only achieved by the Football World Cup and the Olympic Games.

“But we have [races] every two weeks. So you see – the product still works fine, but something should be done [about its reach].”

Tost also hopes that Mercedes won’t dominate the 2017 season as he feels that it will lead to people losing their interest in the sport.

“I hope Red Bull and Ferrari can catch up. Otherwise, many people will stop watching. The races need more entertainment,” he added. “The spectators want different winners, they want accidents – no injuries, but contact. I always hear this from my friends, who say ‘there used to be collisions at the start’. The penalties have to go.

“The drivers should just go out there, we don’t need the rules. When you fight an opponent in F1, you risk damaging your own car. Let the drivers go at it – when they crash, they crash. That’s part of the game, part of the show.”