Zak Brown sees something in new approach to F1 calendar

10-02-2021 17:28 | Updated: 10-02-2021 19:38
F1 News
Zak Brown sees something in new approach to F1 calendar

For years, the Formula 1 calendar has had fixed addresses where the circus travels and there is not much wrong with that in itself. However, the sound of a more variable calendar is becoming more vocal. Also from the McLaren camp where the CEO Zak Brown suggests to introduce a rotating calendar for coming seasons, which according to him contributes to the sustainability of the sport.

Rotation in the calendar

Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali recently hinted that a rotating calendar model is something that could be discussed and Brown is in favour of it. Speaking to Autosport he says: "I'd like to get to a place where we are rotating some races. I'm a big believer that if a good country wants a Grand Prix, that's a great thing. I think the more countries we race in, the better."

"That being said, I think there are two things to consider with the size of the schedule. There's first and foremost is your people. It's a brutal schedule. And then the other is the scarcity of the races. If you look at the NFL, there are I think 16 regular-season games and three or four play-offs. The Olympics is massively popular, that's every four years, as is the World Cup."

20 Grands Prix a year

In that context, scarcity can contribute to the experience of the sport for consumers. This should also make the sport more sustainable in itself, as in theory, it attracts more viewers because a particular Grand Prix is less frequent. For example, Brown continued, "We know some Grands Prix tail off over time, and so actually if you didn't make it an annual thing, but every two years, would some of those Grands Prix be actually more sustainable because you don't have the burn-out?"

With the increasing number of Grands Prix and still plenty of options behind them, there is plenty of choice. If there is a rotation, then there is a lot of room for a smaller calendar. Brown: "In our ideal world, you would do 20 Grands Prix per year. Maybe there are 25 markets, and maybe 15 of those are fixed events because there is a commercial reality of this sport."

"You do have to balance all of the various interests, and we do need to get the sport to add up. I'd like to see there be a day where we're in 25 markets, 15 core Grands Prix, and 10 other races - five of them are one year, and then five the next year. You might create more sustainable venues in some of those instances because people will go, 'Oh, it's only around every two years, so I don't want to miss it next year'", said the McLaren boss.

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