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F1 Caps Races at 24 Amid Expansion Debate

29/02/2024

Stefano Domenicali addresses F1’s race calendar limit and long-term commitments amidst financial disclosures and paddock dissent.

On the occasion of the financial results publication of Formula 1, Stefano Domenicali made a significant clarification regarding the calendar and its seemingly limitless extension…

This comes in a potentially controversial context: as fears of an expansion to 25 or 26 races already loom, and dissent spreads through the paddock…

The Italian thus clarified Liberty Media’s stance to investors.

24 Grand Prix is the maximum… but for now, Stefano Domenicali declared!

“Our momentum continued during the off-season and into 2024. In promoting the races, we prioritize the quality and value of each race, having reached what we believe to be a comfortable short-term maximum of 24 races.”

“At the beginning of the month, we announced a 10-year extension with Silverstone. We are thrilled to welcome the Madrid Grand Prix and the 10-year agreement at a brand-new circuit with urban segments, and some not, starting in 2026.”

“We also announced a five-year extension for our races in Japan and Brazil. With this announcement, we have now finalized all contractual negotiations for the 2025 season and will focus on optimizing the risk calendar for 2026 and beyond.”

F1’s Long-Term Deals: Strategy Explained

10-year contracts with Silverstone, 5 with Japan and Brazil: F1 commits to the long term with certain circuits. Meanwhile, others are knocking at the door. Why, then, make such long-term commitments?

“First and foremost, of course, the financial aspect is relevant, no doubt. And the fact that we can stabilize with certain promoters, whom we believe represent an incredible opportunity in terms of market stability, is a relevant factor to consider.”

“It’s an incredible opportunity to expand our business into other areas that add to the promotional royalty-related one. And that’s really our approach.”

Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media and Stefano Domenicali’s superior, clarified the American philosophy on these long-term contracts.

“You assess the appeal of a Grand Prix and the economic opportunities it presents to us. Generally, if you see us entering into a very long-term contract, it means we believe it’s a very good opportunity, both in terms of fan appeal and economically. If you see a shorter-term agreement, it’s questionable. So, we take all these factors into account.”

“We are always looking for a compromise. So, there are a lot of factors to consider.”

A more significantly disrupted calendar in 2026?

Despite these long-term extensions and the addition of Madrid to the calendar, Stefano Domenicali repeats his mantra for the coming years: continue the globalization of F1. Perhaps racing in Africa? It seems, however, that the calendar will evolve more significantly from 2026 onwards…

“It’s clear that if you look at the evolution of our regionalization of the calendar, we’ve moved from a Europe-centered situation to a more globalized evolution, which must be maintained in the future.”

“I just want to confirm that we think 24 races is the right number. And I think we’re going to do it the right way. I briefly mentioned that we have certain opportunities that we want to bring to market in the next two years, starting from 2026.” Thus, tense contract renegotiations are on the horizon.

F1 race calendar limit 2024. F1 race calendar limit 2024.

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