JULY 4, 2004
F1 teams split over 19 races
The Formula 1 team bosses are divided over whether or not having 19 races is a good idea. The majority appear to be against the idea unless there is considerably more money available to help them pay for the additional staff costs because having 19 races will make it necessary to have back-up crews as well as the regular race teams.
"Having back-to-back races makes a lot of sense," said Jaguar's Tony Purnell. "We have to keep the summer holiday week and we have to get more money or else we will break people. We have to make life tenable for the people who travel to the races."
Peter Sauber is opposed to the increase.
"Sixteen races is enough," he said. "If we have to do 19 races we need much more money. I am not keen to do more and I am not happy that we are being asked to do it."
"More races cost more money," said Eddie Jordan, "and having 19 races is a very onerous task unless there is significant use of back-to-back races and a very careful structuring of where the races are held. One can view it as a way of curtailing testing but there are other ways of doing that."
Tsutomu Tomita, the boss of Toyota, is however in favour of expanding the calendar.
"Nineteen or even 20 races are welcomed by Toyota from a business aspect," he said. "We are a worldwide company and we want to maximise the exposure around the world. However, we have to look at how things are done with regard to the costs. Fundamentally however we are in favour of it."
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