Formula 1 postpones calendar shake-up

Formula 1 has shelved plans to introduce a new regional calendar which was due to start in Europe, head to the Americas then finish in Asia.

By regionalising the schedule, it would help bring travel and the costs involved to a minimum, but commercial chief Sean Bratches has said that the implementation of this idea is now on hold.

“From an aspirational standpoint, I am an optimist – but I am also a realist, and based on some of the contractual commitments we have and based on weather issues, it will be a while before we can get there – if we can [at all],” Bratches told Motorsport.com.

“We are trying to point this ship in that direction which will be much more efficient for fans because we can navigate them for a period of time in the same timezone.

“It will also be more efficient for F1 to avoid the expensive travelling, and it will also create opportunities from a sponsorship standpoint because if somebody wants to activate in Europe, or the Americas, or Asia, it is difficult to do as we bounce all around right now.”

There is also growing speculation about Formula 1 races coming to Vietnam, Miami and Argentina in the near future, and Bratches confirmed some “interesting opportunities” are on the table as other grands prix only have short-term security.

“Some of them are short [deals] – Germany is back in this year, but it’s a short-term agreement for the year,” he added.

“We have interesting opportunities if we want to take them.”

The Formula 1 calendar can be extended to 25 races, but Bratches has said Liberty is not fully intent on reaching that particular target and will not add races just for the sake of it.

“We don’t have a target number of races,” said F1 chief Chase Carey.

“We certainly could add races, we’ve got a lot of places that would like to have races – not always places that we’d consider – but I think there is actually quite a number that would be real positives for us.

“But I think our real focus is to ensure quality over quantity. We have the capacity and the rights to add races, and can ultimately go to 25.

“But I think our focus at this point is getting the races to be what they should be, and really all the components behind it.

“It’s not just the race, but it’s the hospitality, local partnerships, the event itself, the cities that support it, the public support to engage, and I think we’ll continue to evolve those opportunities as we deal with renewals.”

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