'Massive' calendar cut would increase F1's value - Abiteboul

Renault Sport Formula 1 boss Cyril Abiteboul believes grand prix racing would benefit from an "aggressive" cull of races that reduces the calendar to as few as 15 races

'Massive' calendar cut would increase F1's value - Abiteboul

F1's calendar matched its all-time high of 21 grands prix this season, including an unpopular maiden triple-header of consecutive race weekends.

There have been suggestions the season could feature 22 or 23 in the near future, with new races targeted in the United States and Asia.

Abiteboul told Autosport: "We need to be able to engage with fans but it has to remain something special.

"We are already way above what should be the figure for something special.

"We need to convey a message of pride, of motivation, of energy. With the calendar that we have now, the enthusiasm is not the same as when we were only traveling 15 times per year.

"If we don't have that energy, it is going to be very difficult to convey that externally.

"It is almost becoming routine. It should not be a day-to-day job. We've tipped that balance, so we need to be extremely careful.

"I appreciate the reason why, commercially we need to grow the calendar, but as far as I'm concerned, I would be for a massive contraction of the sport."

Abiteboul said "between 15 and 18" races would "massively increase the value".

"If you were to go very aggressive and say 15 races, you have to tell the 21 races you have right now, 'Look guys there are going to be six of you that will be dropped: compete'," he added.

"You completely reverse the pattern of the market. It would be very interesting to see the reaction.

"I understand it would be a gamble, that it is not something within the current set-up of Formula 1, that acquires more money every year, more people, more tracks, more prize-fund, more of everything.

"But at some point there will be a crunch time and maybe we will see if we can switch the balance."

Some of F1's smaller teams have suggested they would need proof of a commercial gain to support an expanded calendar.

Haas team principal Gunther Steiner said: "To go to races costs us and F1 a hell of a lot of money, so they need to make sure we have income as well, not just expenditure," he said.

"Just growing it for the sake of growing it, there is no point.

"The balance is between 20 and 22 races maximum. Going over, there is no return for it."

Force India owner Vijay Mallya said the wellbeing of staff was his "major concern".

"More races mean more revenue and if I can have one and a half or two race teams and I get paid by Formula 1, I'd certainly consider it," he said.

"But if things stay the same, then I think more than 21 races and these triple-headers are just too taxing for our engineers and mechanics and all those involved in the race team."

shares
comments
Ferrari and Italy's great lost hero

Previous article

Ferrari and Italy's great lost hero

Next article

Daniel Ricciardo: Mercedes more vulnerable in F1 this year than before

Daniel Ricciardo: Mercedes more vulnerable in F1 this year than before
Load comments
The key details the boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details the boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021