FIA president Jean Todt has weighed in on the debate as to whether Formula One should increase the number of races on the calendar, saying that he would not be against adding in more Grand Prix events even though the current season has a record of 21.
Under the ownership of Liberty Media, Formula One are looking to expand their reach throughout the globe which could include adding in more races, even though the current calendar is already the most packed one in the history of the sport.
Todt does not have any issues with the addition of more Grand Prix races.
“At the moment 21 I think is good. Whether 22, 23, 20, I would not have any problem with that,” he told RaceFans.
I think the commercial rights holder is doing an excellent job, they are really trying to do the best as I said earlier to bring Formula 1 to modern times. They do very well and we are very supportive of what we do. It’s a very strong partnership.”
This week, Todt also met Charles Leclerc, who was recently saved from serious injury by the controversial halo device, which caused some controversy before the start of this season.
When the halo was revealed, it was criticised by drivers and fans for ruining the aesthetic of the cars as well as decreasing the visibility of the circuit behind the wheel.
However, Todt believes that the recent incident with Leclerc shows the introduction of the device was the correct decision and that safety is always the top priority for organisers.
Sometimes I am a bit surprised about the way things are happening. For decades, the FIA used motor racing as a show and also as a laboratory. And we feel that each movement, each progress we can achieve in safety, is absolutely essential.
“If you see what motor racing was like before Charles was in this world, it was a disaster,” Todt told the media this week.
“We have some tragic memories about that, and we know that motor racing will always be a dangerous sport – not only for the drivers but also for the officials, and for the spectators. If you are talking in rallying, on closed roads, the safety has increased but not at the level we can do on the circuit.
“So we try to do the best, and we already felt that after some crashes which happened, some with consequences, some without consequences, we should already try to introduce a new step. And in fact it is something that was urged at the time by the drivers. I remember drivers writing to me and urging me: “Please do something.”
“Sometimes, the frustrating thing is that when it was done, they were not so much convinced. But in a way we respect what they do and they should respect what we try to do. We did it because we were convinced it was a good thing.”