DECEMBER 23, 2016

Liberty could scratch Fridays from F1 schedule

New owners Liberty Media are considering scratching Fridays from the F1 race weekend.

New owners Liberty Media are considering scratching Fridays from the F1 race weekend.

That is the claim of respected sports journalist Kevin Garside, who wrote in the British i-newspaper that two-day weekends would be part of a wider shake-up for the sport.

Team budget caps, more races in the US and Europe, and a sprint race on Saturday are just part of Liberty's reported plan to attract a wider audience.

"It's all doable," an unnamed F1 team figure said. "There is scope to do something different on race weekends.

"From a team point of view, two race days makes sense, though at the moment contracts with promoters make provision for cars on track over three days, so any change would have to take account of that," the figure added.

However, there is already resistance to Liberty's idea of budget caps, with the upper limit initially set at around EUR 150 million. The big teams say it would be impossible to police.

But Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost insists: "That is nonsense.

"At Toro Rosso, I know how much each screw costs," he told Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper.

"If someone was refusing to show their expenses for a part, then the FIA could simply set the price at double the price of the average of the other teams. You would see that the invoices would flow," Tost added.

Where Tost does disagree with Liberty, meanwhile, is that F1 needs more European races, with the historic French grand prix to return in 2018 after a decade's absence.

"I know I am speaking against my colleagues, but other destinations are needed," he said.

"We have to go to South Africa, we need more US races and should be in Argentina and India. For me, there are too many grands prix in Europe," said the Austrian.