Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey has all but confirmed that next year’s calendar which comprise a higher number of races than this year’s 21.
That would have meant five off-contract events vying for three slots on the calendar, but four of those now have been or are close to being renewed.
It therefore appears that there will be 22 races next year, which Carey hinted at during a Liberty Media conference call with analysts.
“We expect to announce the 2020 calendar in the next few weeks,” he said.
“We’ll probably wait until we have that out there. We’re close to finalising it; I think it’s largely finalised now.
“In general, what I’d say about the calendar is we expect the number of races over the next few years to increase a bit.
“I think there’s a limit to how much, but I think we do expect it to go up marginally.
“As we announce the calendar, we’ll provide more insights as to when and where that occurs.”
With interest in hosting F1 seemingly strong, Carey suggested that the contracts with grand prix organisers could be an even stronger source of revenue to the championship.
“I guess first, we do view this as an area of revenue growth for us?” he posed.
“To put it simply, it’s not steady, not consistent with every event. Some events are different. In some places the events are more mature.
“But we do expect and do look for this to probably increasingly be an area of opportunity for us.
“We actually are very excited about the demand, interest, the number of places that want to host a race.
“Obviously supply and demand is important, and therefore we value our historic relationships, but it is important to carve out opportunities to add a new race when the demand is there and the appetite is there for stepping up for that.
“And I think there’s some places where we inherited situations where we were not receiving what we should be receiving when we came in.
“So I guess between the supply and demand being in our favour, the increase in our race calendar, and addressing a couple of places where we are not receiving what we think we can and should be, we do expect this to be an area of growth for us.”
Carey also expressed confidence about establishing a new race in the United States.
A Miami Grand Prix was pencilled in for this year before being called off but that race remains a possibility according to the F1 boss, as does a return to Las Vegas.
“We’ve been quite public about our goal with the opportunity in the US,” reiterated Carey.
“Our TV audience has grown well (in the United States), digital has been a positive surprise, and there’s more fans here than people believe there are. We’re excited about these opportunities.
“We’ve talked about adding races in destination cities like Las Vegas or Miami. We’ve been engaged for the last year there.
“We’ve made good headway, we are continuing, I have meetings next week with parties there, had meetings a month ago. I think we feel it’s important, we feel we’re making steps.”
The Australian Grand Prix, meanwhile, is secure until at least the end of 2025 due to a recently announced two-year contract extension, and next year’s Albert Park race has again been locked in as the season-opener.
The current season resumes from its summer break with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on August 30-September 1.