McLaren chief Zak Brown has suggested Formula 1 bosses should strike deals where races alternate on different seasons in order to keep the length of the race calendar down to avoid “straining the system”.

As part of the wider shake-up hitting F1 in 2021, the race calendar could be expanded to 25 races per season having already ballooned to 21 races last year.

The news of a longer F1 season has been met by a mixed reception from teams, with many saying they will need to rotate between crew personnel to remain competitive and allow its staff to have breaks in the gruelling schedule.

McLaren’s chief executive Brown has suggested F1 should solve the headache by alternating between races if there is genuine interest in 25 races across the world.

“I’d like to maybe see alternating races as a potential solution,” Brown said. “I think when you have new countries that want to embrace Formula 1, that is a good things and it exposes us to new parts of the world.

“But instead of having 25 races, which I think is achievable, though it would require doing things differently than we do today, then I think maybe alternating some races on the calendar would be a good compromise to grow the sport without straining the system as much as I think 25 races would.”

With the F1 calendar already increasing to 22 races next year with the new Vietnam Grand Prix alongside the returning Dutch Grand Prix, offset by the loss of the German Grand Prix, Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams has weighed up the positives and negatives of a longer F1 campaign.

“Looking at 22 for next year is an awful lot and all the teams are having to look at the impact of that on personnel, just purely from a lifestyle perspective and having that work-life balance, it’s incredibly difficult,” Williams said.

“We’ve all got support personnel that we can rotate in and out. I think obviously for the bigger teams it might be an easier challenge from that perspective: they have a bigger budget in order to bring in more people in order to support that rotation. It is difficult.

“From a financial perspective though there is an offset, so obviously we go to more races, there is more money in the pot that then gets distributed. So really from an offset financial piece, it’s not the end of the world.

“It’s more managing people, the people we have working for us and not putting too much pressure on them for 25 weekends a year.”

With MotoGP also assessing a calendar expansion, championship chief Carmelo Ezpeleta has suggested a rotation deal in regions where races are oversaturated.

MotoGP currently holds four GPs in Spain – Jerez, Circuit de Catalunya, Aragon and Valencia – with interest in a Portuguese round.

With the potential of five races in the Iberian Peninsula, Ezpeleta says a deal to rotate between those races and have three races per season would be required if all of them wanted to host MotoGP in the future.

 

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