Ecclestone, now aged 92, left his role as F1 chief executive in 2017 when US-based Liberty Media took over.

Since then, Netflix’s ‘Drive To Survive’ series has taken the sport to new audiences and, this year, F1 will hold three races in the US including the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

“My opinion is that 18 races is enough,” Ecclestone told the Daily Mail about the record-breaking 24 grand prix calendar planned for 2024.

“We did 20 and I often thought that that was a bit too much. Because you have to think of the teams. 

“Before long, they will have to employ double staff. With 22 or 23 races there will be too many divorces. It is a matter of when.

“I can understand the commercial people because they can say they are signing long-time agreements and that apparently makes the company they work for a lot more money. 

“They can say they have 10-year contracts or whatever. So what they are doing is 100 per cent right for them at the moment commercially.

“But without any shadow of a doubt I would stick to 18 prestigious races. That’s because we don’t know, however long-term the contracts are on paper. 

“We don’t know whether they will suddenly decide that it isn’t working too well and stop.

“Singapore were about to stop. They phoned me and asked me what I thought. I said they should see how it all works out but don’t stop now. I moved it from 18 to 20. 

“I don’t want to make excuses for myself, but that was at a time [when] we were moving it out of Europe to the rest of the world.”

Stefano Domenicali is now the CEO of Formula 1. Ecclestone remarked: “Stefano called me when he got the job. I told him that when I was running it as chief executive that I made the calls. 

“Nobody from [the former owners of F1] ever complained about that — they let me get on with what I thought was best at the time. 

“I don’t know what Stefano’s position is. I think he is a little bit more aware of what the people in America think.

“I think you can see that with the races in America that they are doing — which I think is completely mad. 

“The one in Miami — the way they ran that was mad, trying to be American rather than the way I did it, which was trying to be pure Formula One as it was, rather than as it could be.

“Maybe they are completely right; maybe I was wrong trying to keep it more Formula One. 

“I watch every practice session and every race and I look and I think, ‘My God are we trying to show Formula One or are we trying to show other things?’

“Netflix has captured them a little bit and they follow that a bit too much. Netflix is in the entertainment business as long as it suits them. It’s not like our old broadcasters who have been with us forever.”