Four-time world champion Alain Prost understands that the Formula 1 calendar is constantly expanding, but also believes that there is ‘always a limit’. Prost stresses that Formula 1 must be ‘rare in a sense’ and notes that there is little variation in the calendar.
The Formula 1 calendar has continued to grow in recent years. Where it was still around 16 or 18 races a year for a few years, that has already risen to a record high of 23 races this year. That has become 22 due to the corona pandemic, but that is still a record. Ultimately, Formula 1 has the opportunity to expand the calendar even further to a total of no less than 25 races. Alpine advisor Alain Prost understands very well that there are more races on the calendar, but indicates that there is ‘always a limit’.
“I think the reason for more races is obviously to get more money. It’s always a question of compromise. We lost some big sponsors, when I was there we had the cigarettes, the alcohol, so we lost this big amount of money. We need to get some revenue, so that was the reason. Increasing the number of races is not stupid at all, but there is always a limit,” said Prost in Prost in the Paddock podcast.
“We have to understand that a lot of people at the top teams are there for a long time and they want to spend more time with their families,” continues the world champion from 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1993. “They travel all the time, it’s very hard. So I am not in favor of more races.”
According to Prost, more races could cause fans to expect too much. “We have to be rare in a way.” Moreover, the Frenchman notes that the variation is now a lot less. “We had a period where we knew the first part of the season would start in South America, or in Europe. It was a little different. I still remember the first time we had a Formula 1 race in China. I was there. We had a meeting afterwards and I warned that we should only go to areas where there was already a race culture, we had to avoid losing that race culture. In the first and second year no one came either. So it is always a compromise. That’s not the biggest problem, but we have to make sure we don’t have too many races,” said Prost.