Increasing to a 22-race Formula 1 calendar in 2020 will only offer a marginal commercial gain for midfield teams, according to Racing Point chief Otmar Szafnauer.

F1 is poised for a record-breaking 22-race schedule next year after officials in Spain confirmed earlier this week that government funding had been released to keep its grand prix alive.

Expanding to 22 races is set to stretch teams on both parts and personnel, but will offer a financial benefit thanks to the added promotional fees that will contribute to F1’s revenue, and ultimately work its way back to the teams.

While the bigger F1 teams are set to gain the most thanks to their more favourable commercial agreements, Szafnauer explained the financial benefit of a 22nd race was “close” for midfield outfits such as Racing Point.

“The ones where we are, it’s close. I think it’s worth doing, but from an economic standpoint, it’s in the balance,” Szafnauer said.

“The manpower we have. But there will come a tipping point. I don't know where that is.”

Many teams such as Racing Point sign sponsorship contracts per season instead of per race, meaning a 22nd race would not offer any financial boost, while the possible requirement for a fourth engine would also increase costs to tip the balance back the other way.

Expanding to a 24-race calendar is known to be under discussion for the 2021 season, prompting Szafnauer to urge caution on the impact it would have on teams.

“Yeah 24, 25 [races] has been talked about. I think that’s a lot,” Szafnauer said.

“We’re going to stretch the mechanics and the employees. It’s a lot of travel and a lot of racing.

“I think 22 next year, if we don’t have a triple-header, is achievable. We’ll see what that’s like, we haven’t done that yet.

“After that, we have to be careful we don’t overdo it.”

Asked by if a triple-header had been ruled out for 2020, Szafnauer said: “It was not the right thing to do [in 2018]. I think even if we go to 22 races, there won’t be a triple-header.”



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