'With the overcrowded calendar, F1 tries to correct the excesses'

05-10-2021 07:59 | Updated: 05-10-2021 10:10
by GPblog.com
F1 News
'With the overcrowded calendar, F1 tries to correct the excesses'

The overcrowded Formula 1 calendar with 23 races in 2022 is a consequence of the 'Formula 1 explosion' in the 90s and 00s, according to Mark Hughes. F1 wants to make up for the extreme losses of the teams but will go to extremes to do so, the journalist states in his column for The Race.

The Formula 1 explosion

In the late 90's and early 00's F1 celebrated its heyday. There's no end to the money and teams expand from 200 to 800 staff. Legendary teams like Lotus and Brabham can't keep up with this growth, but the other teams don't seem to be able to look further ahead either when a financial crisis hits in 2008.

Everyone's feet are brought back down to earth, forcing Honda, Toyota and BMW to leave the sport. F1 still brings in money, but a lot more money has to flow from the sport to the teams to keep them alive. Bernie Ecclestone chooses for races that bring a lot of money, Liberty Media chooses for a different model.

The solution of Liberty Media

''Twenty-three Formula 1 races in 36 weeks next year across multiple continents is a brutal schedule for the participants, especially those travelling economy class. Partly, it represents just the different emphasis and style of Liberty compared to previous commercial rights representative Bernie Ecclestone when the calendar was more predicated upon finding big-paying hosts'', Hughes reveals.

''For a time Ecclestone continued to pull spectacular hosting and TV deals out of the hat but it was obvious even before Liberty bought the commercial rights in 2017 that the impetus was slowing and another way had to be found of a) reducing expenditure of the top teams and b) finding new revenue streams.''

According to Hughes, Formula 1 has already been able to reduce expenditure through the budget cap and the corona pandemic helped to speed up the process. In the search for a new revenue stream, Liberty Media is currently coming up with more races. ''This is F1 putting itself on the treadmill to rebalance the excesses of its past,'' Hughes concludes.

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