Debate on race increase

Bernie Ecclestone recently said the idea of increasing the number of races in a season to twenty was not an inconceivable one, which obviously raised some conflicting opinions. The current season was decreased to sixteen races after ...

Bernie Ecclestone recently said the idea of increasing the number of races in a season to twenty was not an inconceivable one, which obviously raised some conflicting opinions. The current season was decreased to sixteen races after Spa-Francorchamps was dropped from the calendar but with new countries hoping to host Grands Prix, Ecclestone said the amount of races may rise.

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart would agree -- providing there is financial help: "I would accept 20 races as long as the teams are paid as it costs a lot of money," he said. "They should also be two weeks apart. What I don't like are these back to back races, it's a fast enough and hard enough life without them."

"I would be sad to see Austria lose its grand prix. We have got Bahrain and China next year, places like Russia, Turkey, God knows how many others are trying to get a grand prix, so I can see a time when there are 20 races."

David Richards, head of BAR, supports the idea of more races and less testing: "We go to Barcelona on a miserable midweek day, no-one comes to watch us there, the television doesn't come and the press don't attend," he said in regard to testing.

"I can't see the purpose of us going round and round in circles, burning rubber and fuel for no media attention. I would far rather do extra races and less testing. I think that is beneficial for the teams, to our partners, sponsors and the fans."

Ever the pragmatic, McLaren's Ron Dennis is dubious about extra events due to the expense involved: "Races cost us money," he remarked. "There would have to be exceptional circumstances that would allow the calendar to grow. There is a mechanism to expand from 16 to 17 races, but not more."

Frank Williams also voiced doubts but thinks Ecclestone could persuade teams with the promise of more cash: "There is a lot of extra money and Bernie may try and make a deal that includes that," he said. "I would doubt it, frankly, but Bernie continues to surprise us all."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Paul Stoddart , Frank Williams , David Richards , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams McLaren , Williams , Minardi