August 4, 2019 / 8:48 AM / 2 months ago

Motor racing-F1 teams agree to 22 races in 2020

BUDAPEST, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Formula One teams have agreed the calendar can expand to a record 22 races next year but without increasing the number of engines allowed, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

Commercial rights holder Liberty Media had asked the 10 teams, who need to approve any increase beyond the current 21 races, to consider the proposal.

“In a nutshell we’ve basically agreed to have a 22nd race,” Wolff told reporters ahead of Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Team bosses met at the Hungaroring on Saturday to discuss the matter.

“We’ve got to let Liberty do their business and the business is to grow Formula One and if they are able to attract promoters, we’ve got to support them,” said Wolff.

“We are up for it. We shouldn’t change the technical regulations for an additional race, that was the debate we had ... it shouldn’t be seen as an opportunity; ‘Hooray, let’s increase the number of components’.

“Equally we’ve got to protect our people, and all of us, because it could come to a point where it’s not manageable any more with one single crew travelling to all races. So that becomes a factor that obviously needs solutions.”

Next year’s calendar could have 22 races with Vietnam and the Netherlands added to the current 21 and Germany looking likely to drop off.

Mexico remains a doubt for funding reasons, but Formula One is keen for the race to stay, while Spain and Italy have yet to sign contract extensions although local organisers and authorities have given the go-ahead. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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