Formula 1
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Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
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46 days
09 May
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64 days
23 May
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81 days
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Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
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95 days
13 Jun
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103 days
27 Jun
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116 days
04 Jul
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120 days
18 Jul
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137 days
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Hungarian GP
01 Aug
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151 days
29 Aug
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179 days
05 Sep
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186 days
12 Sep
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193 days
26 Sep
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207 days
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Singapore GP
03 Oct
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211 days
10 Oct
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221 days
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United States GP
24 Oct
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236 days
31 Oct
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243 days
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Australian GP
21 Nov
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263 days
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Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
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278 days
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Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
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284 days

Liberty blames Ecclestone for F1's calendar issues

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has blamed Bernie Ecclestone for creating some of the problems that Formula 1’s new owners are facing as they attempt to renew race contracts.

Liberty blames Ecclestone for F1's calendar issues

Over the past two years the new management has successfully renewed deals of several races, with Azerbaijan the latest to agree to a contract extension.

However, the contracts of the German, Spanish, Italian, Mexican and British GPs are all coming to an end, and no renewals have been agreed as of yet.

In addition to the inevitable differences of opinion over fees, Mexico and Spain both have issues with the public funding that has hitherto supported the races.

Maffei said that former F1 boss Ecclestone had not helped matters by suggesting that races were paying too much under the very deals that he originally put together.

“Bernie had done a very good job, arguably too good a job, and had drained the promoters,” Maffei told a Deutsche Bank conference.

“And we got a lot of blow back, partly because we’re public now and they can see the prices, and also partly because Bernie suggested to a lot of them that they were overpaying. That didn’t help the cause.

“Exacerbating that are governments trying to pull back subsidies, in Mexico, other places – Spain. So that creates some challenges.”

Asked about potential new events, Maffei suggested that a race in Africa is high on the agenda.

“We remain working on Miami, but there are obstacles to a lot of that," he said. "We’ve looked at other alternatives in the US, including Las Vegas. We’ve looked at other alternatives in Africa. We’re trying to solidify some of the western European races and bring those in.

“That core fanbase is strong, and there are some in the works that may very well come to pass in those traditional western European places.

“You’re always trying to balance both solidifying where you are strong, or core, which is historically western Europe, and then adding other things, like expansion to Vietnam, potentially a second race in China, potentially a race in Africa.

“We’re not yet prepared to announce any, but there’s a careful mix or blend of where you want to grow and where you want to solidify.”

Regarding the already confirmed for 2020 Vietnam GP, Maffei said it “will be more exciting and a positive improvement over Malaysia, which was not differentiated enough from Singapore.”

Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37 and Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL33

Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37 and Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL33

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Sutton Images

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