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F1 risks oversaturating public with so many races

F1 risks oversaturating public with so many races
© Reuters
Formula 1 risks imploding its popularity by continuing to push the limits with the annual race calendar.

Formula 1 risks imploding its popularity by continuing to push the limits with the annual race calendar.

Max Verstappen won 19 of the 22 grands prix this year, but he admits the ever-expanding calendar - blowing out to an unprecedented 24 races in 2024 - could mean he calls it quits after his 2028 contract.

"It's too much for me, but we just have to deal with it," said the Red Bull driver.

"More things need to fall into place for me to decide whether I stay longer or not, but all these things definitely don't help."

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher thinks the intensity of the 2023 calendar, peaking with the late-night track sessions in Las Vegas, even became a health issue for the sport's travelling circus.

"24 grands prix next year is too many," he told Sky Deutschland.

"At the end of this season, the main problem was Las Vegas. I don't know anyone who didn't get sick or caught a cold after that trip. It was just too much. And I hope the organisation understands this.

"(F1 CEO) Stefano Domenicali knows everything about Formula 1 so I hope he takes this problem seriously and tries to find a solution," Schumacher added.

Indeed, it is believed F1 is currently exploring a ban on allowing team members to attend all grands prix on a single calendar. But another problem, Schumacher warns, is that F1 is risking oversaturating the public with so many races.

"Families have to watch the action for hours on end every weekend, 24 times a year," said Schumacher. "They're just wasting their weekends.

"I think it's better to have fewer races and more tests, as we did before, so that on free weekends you can just read a great interview or story in the Sunday newspapers about the heroes of our sport.

"But now the topic of Formula 1 is so oversaturated that the media devotes less and less space to it. They don't write about Formula 1 at all anymore, at least in Germany. Only specialised magazines and a couple of newspapers remain.

"It just became too much," he added. At some point, viewers will simply say 'We can't watch because we have a family holiday, we have a wedding, we can't watch Formula 1 all the time'."

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