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Expanded calendar has to make financial sense insist teams

NEWS STORY
12/06/2018

It is a matter of fact that if FOM gets its way and finally introduces a budget cap, one of the main areas where teams will seek to save money will be their headcount.

However, with the sport's owners looking to expand the calendar - with some claiming as many as 25 races - teams argue that they would actually need to employ more staff.

Furthermore, in the wake of two races that were almost instantly forgettable, such was the lack of racing, there are fears the sport is putting quantity before quality.

"You have to look at the human logistics in a lot of this," says Force India's Robert Fernley. "Twenty races, we're very much on the edge of being able to maintain it with one crew, one travelling crew in particular. So once you start moving in beyond that, occasionally we can go to 21 and then we go back to 19 and we can cope with all of that, but once you get a sustained amount of races that are going well up into the twenties, we're going to have to bring in revolving crews and there's a huge cost to that and these are the things we've got to look at so there needs to be just a look at how are we going to do it logistically.

"It's quite capable from a show point of view," he admitted, "but it will change how we, as teams, operate."

"From a human perspective it's a tough on our guys who are having to spend such a huge amount of time away from home," added Claire Williams.

"Maybe drawing the calendar out, starting earlier and finishing later gives more of a break but it actually then takes away time that we have to build our cars over the winter but also for the guys to spend good quality time at home with their families over the winter.

"From a purely sporting fan perspective, if it's from a saturated market, then great if we have more races if we can go to more markets, particularly within America, I think that would crucial for our sport, but if we are to do that then it has to make financial sense and those races that come on the calendar have to come on because they are paying to do so.

"I don't see why teams should be expected to go to new races for nothing," she added, clearly referring to the planned race in Miami which it is said will see FOM - and thereby the teams - share the costs of hosting the event while (hopefully) reaping the profits, "and then the price fund pot dilutes down even further and it's just costing the teams more and more and that shouldn't be the case.

"I think it makes financial sense to do more races and if we can then do it with more people and rotating crews, it could be done," added Sauber's Guenther Steiner. "But I think there is a second factor in there, which is the saturation of the public. How much do they want to see F1? If F1 is on every weekend, every year, every weekend, are we not on a downward spiral?

"I think Liberty Media is aware of this, I don't think there is a big plan in place to go to 25 or 24 races. I think it will always be between 20 and 22 and starting earlier and ending later maybe gives us a little bit more freedom not to have the back-to-back-to-back like we will have in a few weeks. I think they are well aware that there is a saturation factor for the human element and for what the customer actually wants so I don't think they will exaggerate."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Canuck, 12/06/2018 21:40

"For new markets, why don't they offer new hosts the possibility of hosting a race every second year. Adding 2 races a year would provide the possibility of 4 new locations. That way you get to see if there is a market. Lets not have another Korea where the stands were empty. Enough that China has to give tickets away so it doesnt look empty."

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2. Posted by Ro, 12/06/2018 14:09

"Its bad enough watching 20 boring processions, now they want to do 25....It will go "boom" anyday soon"

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