F1 hoping to expand race calendar beyond 21 races

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Formula One's commercial managing director Sean Bratches is targeting more than 21 races per season in future years.

The current calendar stands at 20 races but, despite the loss of the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2018, it is due to expand to 21 next year with the returns of the German and French Grands Prix. One of the aims of Formula One's new owners is to expand the sport in potentially lucrative territories and Bratches says he is keen to start making that happen.

"We want to work in partnership with our teams in terms of determining where we go, but our view is that we'd like to go above 21 [races]," he was quoted by Reuters. "And we want to be a little bit more proactive and go on the offensive in terms of the markets where we go."

New races have often gone to the highest bidders in recent years, with Russia and Azerbaijan among the venues that have spent big to secure a slot on the calendar. In the future, Bratches wants to start visiting venues that make sense for the sport's image as well as its bank balance.

"As we start identifying an optimal calendar in optimal regions, we can go down and sit with cities and make our case as opposed to what has been a little bit more reactive to bids coming in."

Bratches is also keen to avoid clashes with other major sporting events.

"What we do has to take all that into consideration and we have to work closely with our partners on the team front to find out what the high water mark is and what makes sense for everyone," he said. "We are very interested in doing what's best for fans.

"Next year... there is a weekend where the Wimbledon final and World Cup final take place on the same day. It would be sub-optimal to have the British Grand Prix on that day. It's a tight schedule."