F1 has too many races in Europe, says Toro Rosso boss

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost believes that Formula 1 still has too many grands prix in Europe and that the sport is missing out on crucial markets.

F1 has too many races in Europe, says Toro Rosso boss
Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal in the FIA Press Conference
Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H at the start of the race
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12 collide at the start of the race

Of the 20 races on the F1 2017 schedule, seven will take place in European nations, while the returning French GP is to join the calendar the year after.

Asked whether the was excited about the return of the French event at Circuit Paul Ricard, Tost told Austria's Tiroler Tageszeitung: "For me, we must head to other destinations. There are too many grands prix in Europe.

"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.

"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]."

No rules

Tost is hopeful Mercedes won't enjoy as large a margin in 2017 as it has over the three past seasons – and believes F1 could use to relax its rules so as to spice up the action.

"I hope Red Bull and Ferrari can catch up. Otherwise, many people will stop watching. The races need more entertainment.

"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."

Additional reporting by Stefan Ehlen

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