Fernando Alonso says he will quit Formula 1 if the sport goes ahead with plans to expand the calendar to as many as 25 races.

The Spaniard, returning to F1 duties at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix following his much publicised Indianapolis 500 appearance, has previously criticised the idea of growing the calendar beyond its current 20 races having reached a new record peak of 21 events in 2016.

However, with new owners Liberty Media keen to evolve its investment by bolstering F1's reach in the United States and Asia without turning its back on traditional European races or events in Russia, Azerbaijan and the Middle East which pay higher than average hosting fees, adding to the schedule has been mooted instead.

It is a plan Alonso says he is against to the extent that he would be willing to walk away from the series if Liberty Media follows through.

"Yes," he responded when asked whether he would quit the sport.

"I started when the calendar was 16 races, plus the tests, and now we keep increasing the races year after year. I think we are in a number that is quite demanding already, the life you have, between the preparation, the sponsor events, the tests, the commitments you have, plus 20 or 21 races, I think it's already enough.

"If there are 25 or 26 races or wherever, maybe it's good in one aspect, bad in other aspects. As I said in how demanding becomes your life, and at this point of my career, I consider a good quality of life is more important than to do more seasons in F1.

"So if the calendar stays between 20 or 21, so this range that we know from the last couple of years, I will be happy to continue. If it's increasing like NASCAR where they have 40 or 50 races, it's not for me. It's better for other drivers."

It is a stance that Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton agrees with too, saying he 'understands' the points Fernando Alonso is making

"I've not really given it any thought, but I understand what Fernando's saying and tend to agree with him," he added.

As it stands, the 2018 F1 calendar will see the Malaysian Grand Prix dropped and the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard revived.

Beyond this, Liberty Media has spoken openly about the prospect of adding one or two more races inside the United States, such as street races in California and New York. Despite Malaysia's exit and some doubts over Singapore, it is understood Liberty is looking at Thailand and Vietnam for potential future events.

 

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