F1 teams deluded in refusing to extend the F1 calendar

The change in the ownership of Formula One has revealed that whilst Bernie Ecclestone was capable of taking the sport from racing in muddy fields to a global competition was indeed truly remarkable. Yet Ecclestone got ‘stuck’. His philosophy was to make F1 exclusive, restrict sponsorship, TV rights, bloggers using F1 trademark and the number of events each season. Liberty media who obtained the commercial rights from Bernie are proving they are more than capable of taking Bernie’s excellent work and taking it to the next level.

Next season will see the biggest ever Formula One schedule with 24 races being run from March to November, a whole 39 weeks containing the most glorious racing between the most technical glorious prototypes on planet earth.Demand for Formula One is increasing at some pace with promoters falling over themselves to host one of the world’s most glamorous motorsport events.

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Yet earlier this year the teams were given the opportunity to extend the race calendar to 26 races but refused. This means current events on the calendar will be dropped as keen new hosts are falling over themselves to host and F1 weekend.

Liverpool FC set a record in the last season for the most games played because they were involved in four competitions until the final stages of each. 63 games the club turned out for and yes around half were plane at home but there were weeks the team played 3 away games in 7 days across the continent of Europe.

Baseball in the USA sees the teams play 162 games a season and that’s before the World Series 7 game playoff.

Of course a Formula One team’s logistical efforts to move from location to location is hugely greater than shifting a football or baseball team around the continent or the world.

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Yet it was not long ago 16 F1 events I a season was considered the maximum a team would be capable of managing. The same crews would attend every event on the F1 calendar.

However by recruiting two sets of race weekend personnel who can rotate the travel and in effect halve the burden means even with 24 races, the race crew only need to attend 12 events a year. Some dedicated individuals without family responsibilities whose life is F1 only may want to do the full season, why not let them?

Recently Liberty media asked the teams to agree to extend the maximum number of races from 24 to 26. They refused.

Yet the issues weren’t HR staff stress related, it was about money.

The teams were also asked to increase the Sprint races in existing weekends form 3 to 6. They refused.

The reason was they needed an extra 5 million a year to ditch a practice session and run a Sprint.

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Of course if increases in commitment for the F1 teams adds incremental costs they should be reverted for this. Further if Liberty media are increasing the income pot from extra races, the teams should receive their share.

With new F1 hosts desperate to gain a place on the calendar with a 24 race season limit then other traditional circuits are now under threat. The Concorde agreement has enshrined there will always be no less than 8 races in the European heartlands where the teams are based and the fan base is by far the greatest.

The question is, given F1 is booming and particularly in Europe where almost each circuit this season has so far seen record attendance, why not expand the European leg beyond 8 races.

Well the gift to prevent the likes of the historic Belgium GP falling form the calendar is within the F1 teams’ behest.

Per competitor Formula One drives more revenue than any other closets competition around the globe. So surely it is not beyond the pale to continue to extend its global reach further. F1 teams have the finest processes I the world in terms of delivering cars and developing them in an incredibly short space of time. They can surely find a way to race in 26-30 venues around the world each year.

 

 

The matter is simply about money and not any principal of people resources.

Team’s have been forced to lay off staff due to the budget cap introduced in 2021. If the money is forthcoming from Liberty media and the budget cap was to be increased, then 30 races a year is not beyond the pale.

As always in F1 it’s about money and privilege.

If Liberty media compensate the teams for their extra exertions and further add incremental incentives for addition competitive events, then why should Formula One not compete over 30 events a year?

It appears at present the teams are delusional about what they are capable of in terms of race events, yet they are burning the candle at both ends to produce a new widget that may or may not make the difference.

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8 responses to “F1 teams deluded in refusing to extend the F1 calendar

  1. Did you hit your head when you got up this morning? Do you not understand that there are thousands of people involved in F1 and that they have lives and family of their own? The more the races, the heavier the workload and the further they are away from their families. F1 is just a sport, it’s not life.

    • There are plenty people who are not bound by kids and wives or husbands or who need to have a Friday dinner with friends. For many it’s a dream job. It certainly used to be. And if it isn’t well….. Maybe they are in the wrong job. Maybe that’s the problem with diversity. Old skool passionate motorsport grease monkeys didn’t give a shit about all this, they were hard core. Normal people shouldn’t do this job and then whinge.

      It’s passion v those who think its just a pay check. NASA wasn’t built by those principles.

      Plus as I wrote, if one team did 16 races in the old days, they now have two teams who should be able to do….. hang on maths….. 32 races…

      FOM have 3 teams setting up the logistics around the world. Do you really think on a triple header its the same TV cabling, FIA sector sensors etc etc personnel especially when we travel from Baku to Canada in 3 days????

      Obvs a newbie F1 viewer and commentator.

      Do you think we should cancel the trauma of climbing Everest and just put Helicopter rides on? Some shit is tough.

      • Tell me you know nothing about f1 without saying you know nothing about f1.

        Do you want the best in the world running the cars so that it remains the best in the world or just whoever doesn’t have family at home.

        Why would you want to make a sport so elitist that you can only be part of it if you agree to abandon any sort of personal life, that’s the exact type of shit the world is trying to move away from not towards.

        Some of the f1 teams still operate at a loss but stay in the sport because it’s good advertising for they’re brand why would they want to increase they’re financial outlay for that. Because the returns wouldn’t offset it by enough.

        Look 2 more races from 24 to 26 isn’t going to break the system but there still does have to be a point where it’s enough.

        As for the rotation crap you suggested that’s great for the mechanics and pit crews but the drivers, the team principles all have to show up every week or should they all just abandon they’re families Toto and horner responsible for the last 12 f1 titles both have families I’m sure their both not prepared to completely abandon. That does not seem the kind of people you want to drive out of a sport if you are looking to make it ‘better’

        • Seemingly another F1 newbie. You mention rotation crap and then suggest ‘drivers’

          I need to point out to anyone who never watched F1 pre Hamilton, that F1 teams used to test practically every day with 1,2,3 and even 4 drivers stretched out over different circuits

          So please don’t offer up drivers in any form of argument.

    • Sorry Mayur F1 is a life. Its like choosing a Military career. If you can’t perform or prefer to stay at home with or with out a wife and childen then that your choice. Some people like that life!

  2. lol I love how you brought up the 162-game baseball season… The average MLB attendance has fallen every year since 2015, including even after people are supposed to be back post-pandemic. Currently they get about 26-thousand per game on average but that is highly market-dependent. There is no budget cap in baseball nor minimum spend. So small teams tend to spend very little and large teams can be lavish. Small teams are struggling to bring in more than 10-thousand people a night…. keep in mind these are in purpose-built facilities. You can’t do anything else really in a baseball stadium; it is not multipurpose. In terms of TV, baseball is largely viewed in regional markets and on a given night there are probably 3-7 games on simultaneously. The All-Start game, the most-watched single game, has seen rating falling every year and now is just 7.5M. The Super Bowl is about 112M.

    Baseball is a perfect example of a saturated product. They have expanded the league twice and there are currently 30-teams. In baseball, you need a pitching staff of about 7 players. That means there is a need for 210 talented pitchers but there are not many of high quality. This means the disparity between the min and max pay for a given pitcher is huge because the skill difference is also huge. Small teams do the same with other players, putting the cheaper player on the field rather than the guy with more skill. It’s like hiring kart drivers straight into your Spyker team and expecting them to out-perform.

    Willing and skilled are not the same thing. You say there are plenty of F1 personnel who have no personal lives and would love to work twice as much. I’m assuming this is for the same amount of pay, since we are using a budget cap? Would you segment the budget caps into personnel salaries such that the team couldn’t take a cap increase and devote the resources to car development?

    Baseball has become a shitty sport because so many teams have fundamental barriers to winning a championship, which is largely due to the economics of owning a ‘mid-field” or back-marker team. Turning the organization around requires an owner who is willing to lose money for years, someone to invest in physical and personnel infrastructure, scouting and a pipeline of new players.

    How do you feel about another team or two on the grid? Would you endorse that? How do you compensate the existing teams for the dilution that will occur?

    This seems like one of the worst-reasoned articles I have seen you write. I too would enjoy a longer F1 season with more races but the risk of over-expansion is real. How is that Istanbul track doing? The Buddh Circuit? Korea? Sepang?

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