Stefano Dominicali, CEO of the Formula One Group who arganise the commercial contracts for the sport believes there is demand for 30 F1 races a year.
“I would say there is potential to go to 30. In terms of the interest we see all around the world. It is up to us to try to find the right balance considering what are the venues which would like to be in F1, what are the historical values we need to see on the calendar.
“We need to be balanced, we need to see what are the other opportunities. And very soon we are going to tell everyone what is our strategy to develop that market.
The current Concorde agreement allows for 24 races a season, though following the cancelation of the Russian GP, it stands at 23 for this year.
Saudi Arabia and Singapore are pushing for the replacement race for Putin’s cancelled GP.
Yet there are dissenting voices in the paddock over increasing the annual F1 events beyond 24 events.
Sergio Perez told reporters in Imola, “Right now, you’re basically [immersed in F1] its because we have so many races. We have simulator sessions before each event. We have partner events.
“So we basically have zero time for ourselves and for our families. I have a couple of young children [with a third on the way].
“I think if the calendar [expands] more, then I definitely will not do it.”
Joe Saward, reckons the European minimum of races is under threat given the middle eastern money.
“F1 fans in Europe are increasingly worried that the number of races in F1’s traditional homelands is going to reduce,” says Joe
“This is almost certainly true, but I am not sure it will go much lower than eight, even if Monaco gets put in the corner with a hat marked with a big D for one year, if the Monégasques fail to recognise the danger of not agreeing to a deal that is less dismissive of what F1 does for the Principality.”
The Monaco GP has had a sweetheart deal agreed on a handshake with Bernie Ecclestone many years ago when F1 needed Monaco to be the glamorous outlet for the sport.
At the time F1 was racing in fields with little infrastructure and the retention of the Monte Carlo venue was the highlight of the season.
Its special arrangement with Bernie Ecclestone sees it as the only F1 event where the state of Monaco, as the promoters, receives the income from the sponsors.
The principality has other particular historic advantageous discounts and benefits and there are question marks over whether the Monaco state would pay the ‘today’ cost of the hosting fees that all the other F1 promoters pay today.
Singapore is often called “The F1 Monaco of the east” and as Joe Seward suggests, the Monte Carlo of old may have lost its ability to have an F1 event on the cheap.
As such, the race in the principality could well become a bi-annual event as happened with the German GP at Nurenberg.