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F1 Race Reduction would Increase Value

F1 Race Reduction would Increase Value

F1

Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul believes that racing would be better off with an “aggressive” cull of races. He hopes that the calendar is reduced to at least 15 races minimum.

The 2018 F1 calendar equalled an all-time high of 21 grands prix, including an unpopular maiden triple-header.

There were suggestions the sport could feature 22 or 23 in the future, with venues in the United States and Asia .

Abiteboul said, “We need to be able to engage with fans but is has to remain something special. We are already way above what should be the figure for something special.

“We need to convey a message of pride, of motivation, of energy. With the calendar that we have now, the enthusiasm is not the same as when we were only traveling 15 times per year.

“If we don’t have that energy, it is going to be very difficult to convey that externally.

“It is almost becoming routine. It should not be a day-to-day job. We’ve tipped that balance, so we need to be extremely careful.

“I appreciate the reason why, commercially we need to grow the calendar, but as far as I’m concerned, I would be for a massive contraction of the sport.”

F1
Cyril Abiteboul

According to him, “between 15 and 18” races would “massively increase the value”.

“If you were to go very aggressive and say 15 races, you have to tell the 21 races you have right now, ‘Look guys there are going to be six of you that will be dropped: compete’,” he added.

“You completely reverse the pattern of the market. It would be very interesting to see the reaction.

“I understand it would be a gamble, that it is not something within the current set-up of Formula 1, that acquires more money every year, more people, more tracks, more prize-fund, more of everything.

“But at some point there will be a crunch time and maybe we will see if we can switch the balance.”

Some of the smaller F1 teams say that they need proof of a commercial gain to support an expanded calendar.

Haas team principal Gunther Steiner said: “To go to races costs us and F1 a hell of a lot of money, so they need to make sure we have income as well, not just expenditure,” he said.

“Just growing it for the sake of growing it, there is no point. The balance is between 20 and 22 races maximum. Going over, there is no return for it.”

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