Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches says there’s been overwhelming interest from would-be host venues for future Grand Prix events.
“In the seven months I’ve been in this job I’ve probably had about 40 countries, cities, municipalities, principalities approach me about interest in hosting a Formula 1 race,” Bratches told Motorsport.com. “Which is extremely encouraging!”
Currently, the Formula 1 calendar is capped at 25 races per season. This year, the Formula 1 championship encompasses just 20 races. The season starts in Melbourne in March, and concludes in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.
Bratches said that any decision about new races would focus on what the venue could bring to the sport rather than the most lucrative commercial deal.
He also said not to expect more custom multi-million dollar facilities, like those specially created for Formula 1 in Abu Dhabi and the United States.
“I don’t think you’re going to have too many more purpose-built tracks built,” he stated.
“We’re going to have an apportionment between city tracks, heritage tracks, and purpose-built,” he explained. “The next objective is to put our shoulders behind more city races.
“We think that’s a very attractive proposition from our perspective,” he continued. “Our strategy [is] hosting races where you can activate large fan bases, particularly in city centres.
“I think it’s representative of the brand, and what people are trying to do locally for fans, and drive visibility and scope for their business.
“We are very anxious to maximise the opportunities of these Grands Prix.”
Bratches also said there was likely to be a major reorganisation of the Formula 1 calendar in the future, with events grouped by region. That would help cut down on Formula 1 teams criss-crossing the world.
“Right now we’re jumping all over the globe with no thoughtful cadence. In an ideal world, and forget the order, but you’d have kind of the first third of the races in Europe, the second third in the Americas, and the last tranche in Asia.
“What that does is allow you create efficiencies in terms of travelling this circus,” he pointed out. “Creating efficiencies is I think a big opportunity.
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Bratches believes that grouping events in this way will also prove beneficial for fans.
“The other opportunity from a fan standpoint is being able to say to a fan, for the next two or three months you’re going to have to get up early to watch the grands prix. For the next two months it’s midday. And [after that it’s] night.”
Inevitably, an influx of new circuits will mean that some favourites will drop off the calendar. Silverstone has already exercised a break clause to pull out of hosting the British Grand Prix in 2019.
“I think as we look at the apportionment of races by region, you’re going to see some fall out, and some added,” Bratches agreed. However he wouldn’t be drawn as to which current races currently aren’t fully pulling their weight.
“We love all our children!” he insisted.
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