Liberty Media’s ambitions of adding more races to the F1 calendar are well-known, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff suggests the sport’s interests would be better served if the trend actually went in the opposite direction.
The current 21-race schedule is expected to receive a boost in the future with the arrival of a couple new venues.
Miami, Copenhagen, Holland and Vietnam are all engaged in prospective talks with FOM, with Florida’s ‘Magic City’ likely to host a race in 2020.
Todt sees retaining current manufacturers in F1 as main priority
FIA president Jean Todt recently backed Formula 1’s idea of expanding its calendar, but Wolff makes the case for actually reducing the agenda to 15 or 16 events.
“This means less revenue in the short term, but a more exclusive and valuable product in the long term,” the Mercedes boss told Der Spiegel.
Wolff also believes that reducing the duration of the races from 2 hours to just 80 minutes would help TV ratings and viewership.
“This would help to pick up some of the young people who have a shorter window of attention due to the new digital formats,” he added.
Fewer races would also likely positively impact teams’ budgets to a certain degree, but Wolff is still an advocate of cost cutting, insisting the “resource race between Ferrari, Red Bull and us for a few hundredths of a second” is crazy.
However, Formula 1’s aim of eventually limiting budgets to $150 million is a tall order according to Wolff
“If the top teams today spend $290 million, they cannot say ‘Hurray, in two years time we will have $150 million’. It would mean an awful lot of restructuring,” he said.
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