Race rotation: an A1 idea?

A1 Grand Prix Shanghai, China, startBernie Ecclestone has publicly speculated that future Formula One calendars could be far more fluid, with each country holding a race every two or three years instead of annually.

Meanwhile the A1 Grand Prix series, the first season of which ended in Shanghai today (pictured), have indicated a substantially different 2006-07 calendar. The first two rounds will be in Zandvoort (Netherlands) and Brno (Czech Republic), neither of which featured in 2005-06.

Is Bernie taking his cues from A1 Grand Prix founder Sheikh Maktoum? There are interesting parallels between F1’s new qualifying system and A1’s – and the 2006 qualifying regulations were penned by Ecclestone himself.

A ‘race rotation’ calendar for F1 seems unlikely. Since 1995 Germany have been allowed to circumvent the ‘one country, one race’ rule and have an extra race every season, in order to exploit the revenue potential of the Schumacher fan base. And Japan is rumoured to be getting two rounds per year as of 2007 to capitalise on the presence of Toyota and Honda.

Could the Formula One moneyholics really be persuaded to back away from these money-spinners if ‘race rotation’ proves less lucrative? I doubt it.

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