The Formula 1 World Championship calendar could grow beyond its current 21 races as new owners Liberty Media evaluate ways to capitalise financially on its new prized asset.
The American media giant agreed terms to begin taking CVC's controlling stake in the sport in September, with an 18.7 per cent share already acquired and the rest to be completed in cash and shares by early next year.
Though F1 chairman Chase Carey – who this week appeared at the F1 Strategy Group meeting in Geneva – has indicated he wants to observe for the time being to better understand the sport, it is understood there are proposals being devised aimed at expanding F1's reach, audience and financial potential.
With plans to utilise increasingly popular streaming services and monetising a huge back catalogue under consideration, there are also talks to grow the number of races in key nations, namely Liberty Media's home market of the United States.
As a result, chief executive Greg Maffei has speculated that F1 could stand to grow its calendar with new rounds in the USA and Latin America if it means the FIA, the teams and the owners 'make more money'.
"There is a general line of interest if you increase the number of races to a point,” Maffei told investors at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecoms Conference, according to Reuters
. “The FIA makes more money, the teams make more money, we make more money."
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It comes as F1 prepares to complete its longest-ever season of 21 races, a calendar that many have expressed reservations about but will remain almost unchanged for 2017.
Though Maffei says an expansion would be 'mild', he says he is keen on the idea of adding a Las Vegas night race to the schedule, but not at the expense of more traditional races in Monaco and Monza.
"Obviously there is a limit on how much you can do. Just getting the cars around the world, but I think we can expect to grow the amount of races to a mild degree. I particularly like the idea of a night race in Las Vegas.”
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