Bernie hints at 18-race F1 calendar Bernie Ecclestone has hinted that he would like to limit the number of events on the Formula 1 calendar to 18 rounds.
In an interview with German weekly Auto Motor und Sport, published on F1's official site, the sport's impresario suggested that while he expected the current influx of new nation hosts to continue he did not want to see the schedule expand significantly to accommodate them all.
“It is for the teams to think about it," he said.
“Nobody can ever pay them what it costs them to run. For sure, we do not want 36 races like in NASCAR.
“Maybe 18 would be a good number.” (He said 20 just this year).
The face of the F1 calendar is set to change substantially over the next two years.
Two new races on street tracks in Singapore and Valencia will join the schedule in 2008, while Abu Dhabi will enter the fray a year later. Then South Korea and India are set to increase F1’s presence in the Asian market from 2010.
Some of the sport’s traditional European races are thought most likely to be culled to accommodate F1’s expansion into new markets, with the future of both the French and British grands prix into the next decade far from certain.
Ecclestone says the sport will continue to develop in the areas of the world where the car manufacturers are looking to grow.
“We go where the markets for the manufacturers are, where they are selling their cars in the future,” he said.
“Formula 1 is a big car showroom.
“We will race in India, probably Russia and Korea too.”
Ecclestone also shared some light on the failure of the US Grand Prix, which has dropped off the calendar for 2008.
"America is a continent as big as Europe," he said.
"In order to have the same impact as in Europe, we ought to have eight races over there. To have just one grand prix in the States does not make F1 popular." ITV-F1