The new bosses at Formula One, Liberty Media, already have former F1 tyrant Bernie Ecclestone in a fuss about how much they’re using this “social media” stuff. They now want to expand the F1 schedule, which would maybe, just maybe, wear ol’ Bernie out enough to keep him from talking so much.
But that last part is just a far-away hope and dream. Even though Ecclestone isn’t CEO anymore, we’ll be hearing about how F1 should make fans think their favorite drivers are hurt after wrecks for the at least the next decade.
Anyway, back to the schedule thing. Motorsport.com reports that F1 Marketing Chief Sean Bratches said there will be 21 races for the 2018 season, up from 20 this season. The Malaysia race is on its way out, and additions in 2018 will include France and Germany. Bratches said expanding the schedule after next year will take a toll “physically, emotionally and economically.” He didn’t say on what.
That’s understandable, though. It’ll take a toll on us viewers, too, if the same drivers win on even more race weekends than they already do.
Bratches didn’t mention much else about the schedule expansion, such as the important question of how many Sundays a year people on the other side of the ocean will have to wake up at 6 a.m. for a race. But he did say the expansion will “focus on re-establishing the championship in core markets such as Europe, as well as increasing the reach in the United States, Asia and Latin America.”
Furthering F1’s race presence in the U.S. was something Ecclestone talked about more than once, but he was also open about his hatred for democracy and called the entire continent of North America a shithole less than a year ago. It takes one to know one, Bernie.
That said, Ecclestone never really made any headway into his “want” to add more U.S. races. He doesn’t seem to have made much headway with any of his comments—both normal and wildly inappropriate—in years. Liberty Media seems to be a lot better at achieving results, so maybe we’ll see some real change soon.
Watkins Glen in 2019, anyone? Bernie will love it.