Bernie Ecclestone claims F1 calendars should not go beyond 18 races

Bernie Ecclestone feels taking part in more than 18 races in a year puts too much pressure on the F1 teams.


Bernie Ecclestone claims F1 calendars should not go beyond 18 races

Bernie Ecclestone (Via IMAGO)

Formula 1 as a sport has come leaps and bounds in the last few years. It has witnessed many changes, and the number of races each year has also been upward. In an era where the fans will see a record 24 races next year, former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone feels that 18 events in a year are the ideal number.

Bernie Ecclestone has been associated with the pinnacle of motor racing for a long time and still has some pull when making decisions about the sport. During the ongoing campaign, there were originally going to be 24 events, but one got scrapped because of certain specific reasons. 2023 will see 23 races, but from next year onward, F1 will host 24 until 2026.

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Formula 1 has witnessed a massive surge in its global demand. While it is believed that the number of races will only increase in the coming years, Bernie Ecclestone told Motorsport, “In my opinion, 18 is more than enough. We had 20, and I often thought that was too many. You have to think about the teams. It won’t be long before they have to hire two teams.”

He added, “With 22 or 23 races we will already have a lot of separations. It’s just a matter of when. I can understand commercial people, because they can enter into long-term contracts and that apparently makes the company they work for a lot of money. They can sign ten-year contracts or something like that. I would always choose eighteen prestigious races. You don’t know how long those contracts will really last.”

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While Bernie Ecclestone is adamant that 18 races in a calendar year are more than enough, the way of thinking about the current hierarchy of the sport is very different. Stefano Domenicali and Co. want to balance the demand and how much the teams/drivers can sustain in a year. They deem 24 as the ideal number under current circumstances.

George Russell and Lando Norris (Credits: Planet F1)
George Russell and Lando Norris (Credits: Planet F1)

Moreover, with the pace at which the sport is evolving, there is a very good chance that the number of races could go beyond 24 from 2026 onwards. Current regulations allow 24 events in a year. Still, by the time 2026 comes around, there is a high possibility that F1 could develop a model that allows for more races without putting too much burden on the participating teams.

In the upcoming years, the F1 grid is expected to increase by at least 1-2 more teams, and if this certainly happens to be the case, who knows F1 might also look to increase the number of races. While there are a lot of factors involved, one thing that can be said for certain is that the global fanbase of the sport is only going to increase in the upcoming years, and that could prompt the sport to introduce more changes.

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