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Steiner "not opposed" to expanded calendar

NEWS STORY
18/06/2017

While Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have said they are against plans to expand the F1 calendar to as many as 25 events, Haas team boss, Guenther Steiner says he is in favour of the idea.

"I started when the calendar was 16 races, plus the tests," said Alonso in Canada, when asked about FOM's plan to add more races, "and now we keep on increasing the races year after year and I think we are in a number that is quite demanding already: the life you have, you know, between the preparation, the sponsor events, the tests, the commitments you have plus 20-21 races, I think is already enough.

"If there are 25 or 26 races or whatever, I think it's good in one aspect," he continued, "but in other aspects, in how demanding becomes your life, at this point of my career, I consider that a good quality of life is more important than to do more seasons in F1 - so if the calendar stays between 20-21, so this range that we know from the last couple of years, I'll be happy to continue. If it's increasing, like NASCAR, that they have 40 or 50 races, it's not for me. It's better for other drivers."

"I understand what Fernando's saying and tend to agree with him," added Hamilton.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix however, Guenther Steiner admitted that he is in favour of the idea.

"I'm not opposed to a few more races," said the Italian. "What I wish is that the races are more bundled, that we stay in one region and are not going back and forth to Asia, where you go back for one week and then back the next.

"How big the area you group together, I don't really know," he admitted. "It needs to be studied of how many F1 races an area can take. For instance, I think it would be difficult to have a race in Abu Dhabi and then another one the next week in Bahrain because we are very close together there.

"But a few more races, if it is well organized, will not be that much more time away for the teams. In general, I have nothing against getting up to 25 races."

Asked when an expanded calendar would involve in terms of personnel and work load, he said: "We just need to plan and maybe relieve some people.

"Maybe not all the people will want to do 25 events, but I think it can all be managed, and if we do it cleverly, it is not so much more.

"For sure, there is more cost involved because you travel more," he admits. "You need more car parts because you run more. But, in general, if we've got enough time to get prepared properly, we always find a way to make things work."

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