Twenty-race season is the limit - Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone has vowed to keep the F1 calendar at a maximum of 20 races per season.
The 2010 schedule features 19 races but in 2011 the Indian Grand Prix will boost the count to a record-breaking 20. In 2012 the US Grand Prix will return and there is still talk of a Rome street race joining the calendar. However, Ecclestone has made clear that the new races will simply take the place of existing ones.
"We really should be at 16, to be honest," Ecclestone told the Times of India. "20 is plenty, that's the limit. No more. I've been able to squeeze in 20 but I wouldn't want to increase it. There'll be mayhem otherwise."
Indeed, most of the F1 paddock is opposed to more than 20 races because of the demands it puts on personnel and teams both physically and financially.
"We want to have these extra races because it's good for Formula One, but it's reaching a critical stage in terms of people being able to cope," warned Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn.
Lewis Hamilton agrees: "A season of 19 races is too demanding from the point of sponsors and endorsements. We have promotional events, training, testing and upgrades. So it does put extra pressure and we need to manage our time more efficiently."
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