The Formula 1 calendar has reached its “saturation point” of 21 races and should not expand further, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
This season matches the record number of grands prix in a season, and the 2019 calendar sees the same number of races. Vietnam and Miami are being lined up as additions in 2020, but Horner believes the sport needs to retain some exclusivity to ensure it doesn’t dilute each individual event.
“Twenty-one races, I think, is about saturation point,” Horner said. “There’s only so many chapters you can have in a book and I think at some point you go beyond what’s relevant. I think to go as low as 15 or 16 I think is too low but I think that 21 is the upper end.
“It’s tough. It’s tough for the guys in the garage, for the traveling staff, it’s tough for everybody involved and I think for the spectator and fans as well, beyond 21 races it reaches saturation, so I think it’s finding that balance.
“I think the really encouraging thing is that there are some great venues that want to host Formula 1 races and events and I think that that should provide natural competition for the venues that are already on the calendar.”
Sauber boss Frederic Vasseur feels 18 is the ideal number of races in a season, saying the sport already has too many rounds on the calendar.
“For sure we will never go more than 21 because that is, from my point of view, far too much,” Vasseur said. “I think at one stage also we are losing the exceptional of the event; the more races you are doing, everybody is used to and at one stage we have to keep the exceptional side of the races and for me it’s a bit too much but I will follow the calendar for sure. I won’t stop after 18 next year.”
However, Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost believes more races will be well received if the quality of the on-track product is high.
“I think it’s not the number of races or the size, it’s the show which we offer and the level of the entertainment,” Tost said. “If you have 15 boring races people will not watch any more. No, I think we should have around 20, 22 races and I think this is a good number and the exclusivity once more depends how good we are.
“We also should not forget that we are a global player and therefore we need a certain number of races to stay a global player. And I would absolutely refuse to go below 20 races. The year has 52 weeks, therefore we have a lot of time.”