Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Vettel says 20 races per year is near teams’ limit

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2011Sebastian Vettel doubts the F1 calendar could expand much further beyond the current 20 races per season.

The world champion told Servus TV this year’s 20-race schedule is near the limit of what teams can cope with:

“I think 20 is a good number but it’s a big number,” said Vettel. “Not just for us, the drivers, I think for the whole team, for the whole paddock.

“To move around sometimes have races back-to-back one weekend straight after the other is not easy, I think that you need to be aware of that.

“We have the races more and more spread out around the globe so these things don’t make it easy. So I think we just get away with 20 races.”

This year’s calendar is the longest ever with 20 races, and it is set to expand next year with the planned addition of a second race in the USA.

Vettel won the latest addition to the calendar, the Indian Grand Prix, last year. The United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas joined the calendar this year.

Asked which of the current races he enjoys most Vettel said: “I really love to go to Japan. First of all the track is amazing.

“The atmosphere there is completely different. The people there are very friendly and very crazy, in a positive way, about motorsport, about racing, about Formula One.

“That’s something very nice to see and makes you feel very special when you get there and you see that there’s so big support for Formula One and for the drivers.”

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60 comments on “Vettel says 20 races per year is near teams’ limit”

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  1. With having more ‘global’ grands prix instead of European ones without doubt puts more pressure on the smaller teams such as Caterham and Hispania. When you look at the start of this current season we had Australia, Malaysia, and China all close together. Towards the end of the season the teams will return to the region for Singapore, Korea and Japan. That is a huge logistical undertaking even for teams with the financial clout of Ferrari and McLaren, nevermind the smaller teams.
    F1 has for many years held grands prix in far off shores, Argentina and South Africa are two very good examples, but in the last decade the emphasis has shifted away from the European events to more ‘flyaway’ races. When the economy was good it may have seemed a good idea, with teams bankrolled by the likes of BMW, Toyota, and Honda where ten years ago money was no object. Times have changed and these companies are long gone along with the prosperity of our once strong economies.
    F1, like many other enterprises, still finds itself in a delicate position with teams that are not as secure as Ferrari and McLaren due to the economic crisis. Even the likes of Mercedes F1 are seriously looking, if reports are accurate, at their prolonged involvement in the sport.
    So Vettel has a point, there has to be a cutoff somewhere. The age old problem is which circuits do the drop and which ones do you keep? In recent months we have debated the idea about circuits ‘sharing’ events such as Spa sharing its slot with a new event in France. What we have to remember is that Ecclestone, like all money obsessed creatures, wants the circuits that pay him his ‘wedge’ per annum. The event in Bahrain is a good example, despite the political genocide as a backdrop.
    With so many European circuits struggling to make ends meat this scenario appears to be the most likely, at the expense of lesser teams such as Hispania and Caterham perhaps!

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