F1 commercial boss wants longer, better planned race calendar

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Formula 1 commercial director Sean Bratches has expressed his desire for a longer but better planned season.

Following Liberty Media's takeover of the F1 rights earlier this year from long-time owners CVC, everyone was eager to know what changes the new leadership including CEO Chase Carey and managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn would bring.

One of the primary targets set was the adjustment in the calendar in order to benefit from the whole season and to spread the sport around the globe. This started to appear with talks concerning a possible return of the Turkish GP, though that was later squashed, as well as a desire for a second race in America.

But in a recent interview with Reuters, Bratches announced that his team will be looking for the possibility of increasing the number of races per season but acknowledged the fact that this will be a challenge at the organisation level.

“We want to work in partnership with our teams in terms of determining where we go but our view is that we’d like to go above 21”, Bratches said “We want to be a little bit more proactive and go on the offensive terms of the markets where we go.

"As we start identifying an optimal calendar in optimal regions, we can go down and sit with cities and make our case as opposed to what has been a little bit more reactive to bids coming in.”

For the last 10 years or so, the F1 calendar has followed a consistent schedule of early with a batch of races outside Europe starting and ending each season, with the exception of Canada which take places in June.

While the distance between the individual races in the Far East and America may not appear far, however, all teams often travel back and forth to Europe between the fly-away races.

Trying to come up with a schedule that would see teams stay in these regions between races is part of the evaluation, as Bratches added: “We’re trying to align these things better by territory. European races, the American races, the Asian races but it gets difficult in terms of the weather and managing contractual guardrails.

"We are trying to ensure all the participants in this sport have really good businesses and we don’t want to align Grands Prix which will be cannibalistic to one another.”

Another issue has been the desire to avoid clashes between MotoGP and other top motorsport series so it remains unknown if will it be possible to organise more than 21 Grands Prix and if the teams would approve the addition of more races per year.