Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Over Expansion

By Simon

Tammy’s favorite octogenarian, Bernie Ecclestone is meddling again.  The F1 schedule has swelled to nineteen races from sixteen over recent years and it looks as if it’s going to grow again to possibly twenty-two races per season.  That’s kind of disturbing for a number of reasons.  Every additional race adds millions to a team’s budget with the knock on that the smaller teams are stretched even thinner than they already are.  Also, we are still in an economic trough, there isn’t the sponsorship or the viewership to back a move like this up.  Finally, there's a safety issue.  With testing restrictions, these cars are somewhat of an unknown racing quantity.  Personally, I miss the days where the teams tested as much as they liked.  The cars were getting sorted.  With an increased schedule and restricted testing, racecar development seems to be an “on the job” learning experience.  All in all, it doesn’t seem like a sustainable model.


Personally, I like a sixteen race schedule, as it was something that most series up and down the racing food chain kept to.  Double and triple headers help increase the races and are kinder on the pocketbook, but I’ve never been in favor of these as one bad shunt could mean the end of a race weekend and missing rounds.  And having done a 16-race season, that is plenty busy enough for a team and driver.  A year just disappears on you with just that many.  I shudder to think what an additional six races would feel like.

I have no problem with the F1 circus going to different cities around the world, but it needs to be at the expense of other locales.  I love F1 but there can be too much of a good thing and adding more races could just do that.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Bernie, it's always about the money. In general, I feel like they have a lot of races already ... one or two more doesn't do anything for me either way, and if it causes significant strain on budgets? Eh. But I do totally agree with wanting more testing, as I think that'd help driver development programs.