Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says “there is no downside” on expanding the Formula 1 race calendar to 22 races in the future, but only if key rule changes are installed.

With the Mexican race securing a fresh deal through to 2022 earlier this week, next year’s F1 schedule to set to expand to 22 rounds with the arrival of the Dutch and Vietnamese races while the German event is expected to drop off the calendar.

While discussions have sparked on the F1 season becoming oversaturated by too many races, and the extra demands on teams which come with it, the official confirmation of the 2020 F1 calendar has been delayed to complete contract talks – with the Spanish Grand Prix also expected to secure a one-year deal extension.

Haas boss Steiner feels a bigger F1 race calendar only brings positives for all teams under the assumption of keeping rules on three engines per season, as well as an F1 team budget cap rumoured to come in from 2021, in order to keep a tight rein on costs.

“It depends also where you end up in the championship,” Steiner said. “The big ones get more, so for them it’s more beneficial, but they spend also more money so in the end.

“I don’t think there’s a big upside, but at least there is no downside. So long there is no financial downside, yes we make the effort. I am okay with it.

“But we need to find out and we need to keep it to three engines. If you introduce a fourth engine, it doesn’t make sense for us financially.

“If they are confident we can do it with three engines, then I am fine with it. I don’t know the date exactly.”

Speaking after the Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend, Steiner added that looking at the overall season is important to enhance the spectacle of the sport. After a dull French Grand Prix came in for heavy criticism, F1 has enjoyed four consecutive races full of action.

“I think the bigger picture is four good ones but we want 21 or 22 good ones,” Steiner said. “That’s what I’d be trying to focus on, to have them all good and then work towards it.

“Not because we had four good ones we calm down and say ‘it’s good now’ and then we come up and say ‘oh it’s bad, what do we do now’ and just be up and down reactive. We need to keep the big picture and for me, the big picture is the budget cap, which is coming.”

 

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