McLaren would support a 22-race F1 calendar in 2020

McLaren Formula 1 team CEO Zak Brown will support an increase to 22 races for the 2020 season if series owners Liberty Media requests it

McLaren would support a 22-race F1 calendar in 2020

F1 bosses have previously indicated that the calendar will remain at 21 races next season, with Vietnam and the Netherlands joining, and Spain and Germany expected to drop off the schedule - assuming that new deals for Italy and Mexico are confirmed.

However it looks increasingly likely that Barcelona will survive into 2020, possibly on a one-year deal.

It's not yet clear whether it would in effect be a replacement for the Dutch GP, which some sources suggest might not be ready by next May, or a 22nd race in its own right.

If the latter is the case, the calendar extension will have to be approved by teams.

"If we go to 22 races, Liberty needs to ask four teams," said Brown.

"If I'm not mistaken, I think we [McLaren] would be one of them. I think they would just have to put the schedule together in a way where it was logistically possible, because if it won't be possible for us then it won't be possible for anyone.

"If it's possible for others, then it will have to be possible for us, if it's the right markets - I think Vietnam's a good addition, I think Holland's a good addition.

"It's a lot of races right now, 21, 22, but if they come out with a 22-race calendar and logistically it makes sense, then we would support it.

"I think we're definitely going to be doing 21 races next year. I think it's more a question of whether we do 21 or 22. I don't think we're going to be doing 20."

Brown conceded that there are concerns about a higher number of races diluting the product.

"I think that's where we need to come back to talking to the fans. What do they want to see?," he added.

"I've got my opinion, you've got your opinion, but I think on questions like that what you really need is the opinion of thousands and then make some determinations from that.

"Certainly scarcity is something that's seemed like it's worked very well for the NFL, and lack of scarcity seems to have maybe compromised NASCAR over the long term. What's that tipping point between 20-21, 22-23?

"It's hard to think just one more race is going to have a significant race but if you take that view and just keep adding races then next thing you know you're at 25-26.

"I like where we're at now."

Brown suggested that alternating races - in the same way that Hockenheim and Nurburgring shared the German GP in the past - could be one way of adding new events.

"I think maybe considering rotating races, if there's market demand for more races then maybe we should alternate and then that will give you a great schedule in great markets and will kind of keep some scarcity because you're in a certain market once every two years as opposed to every year.

"That's not come up too much. I think that should be a topic."

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