Andretti hopes 21-race F1 calendar here to stay
Honda F1 website
Honda website

FEBRUARY 12, 2016

Andretti hopes 21-race F1 calendar here to stay

F1 legend Mario Andretti has his fingers crossed that the US grand prix in Austin goes ahead as planned.

The October race has been given only provisional status on the 2016 calendar, amid a funding dispute between race organisers and the Texan government.

"After all the investment to make this very attractive facility, we need this grand prix," Andretti, the 1978 world champion and a naturalised American, said.

"Interest in the US is growing, especially now that there is an American team, but I think F1 needs the US in equal measure," he told the Spanish daily El Pais.

"When you look at each team's sponsors, you see that all of them are global and most would have business there (in the US)," Andretti added.

Another cloud is hanging over the historic Italian grand prix at Monza, as La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the latest meeting between Bernie Ecclestone and race chiefs Angelo Sticchi Damiani and Ivan Capelli in London did not go well.

A further meeting is reportedly now scheduled for the end of February.

Some in the pitlane would heave a sigh of relief if the bursting 21-race calendar is reduced in size, but 75-year-old Andretti thinks more races is a good thing.

"It is an extra burden for the teams," he said, "but they have to appreciate that it is all more exposure for the brands.

"It is wonderful for F1 because it means demand is incredible, the drivers are willing to do more races so I think it's not a bad thing at all."

(GMM)

Other stories for FEBRUARY 12, 2016

CIRCUIT CHIEF OUSTED AT NURBURGRING

MANOR EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR HARYANTO

FIFTY-FIFTY CHANCE OF FERRARI-MERCEDES BATTLE IN 2016

RENAULT'S BELL LOOKS TO REPEAT MERCEDES SUCCESS

VERSTAPPEN TO DRIVE 2016 CAR IN SIMULATOR

BOTTAS MORE PREPARED FOR F1 RUMOURS NOW

ANDRETTI HOPES 21-RACE F1 CALENDAR HERE TO STAY

MAGNUSSEN MUST BRUSH OFF VASSEUR COMMENTS

MANOR WISE TO SIGN WEHRLEIN