Christian Horner says Red Bull Racing would agree to have twenty-two races on the Formula 1 schedule in 2020, although he believes increasing the engine allocations would be advisable, especially as there are struggles to stay within current allocations already.
Whilst the German Grand Prix is set to drop off the calendar next season, Formula 1 will visit the Netherlands for the first time since 1985 with a trip to Zandvoort, while Vietnam will host its first ever race, increasing the number of events to a record-breaking twenty-two.
However, Horner, the Team Principal of the Honda-powered Red Bull outfit, says he finds it difficult to imagine such a long season with the current allowed numbers of power unit components, especially when penalties are already being taken in 2019 for exceeding those numbers with still nine races of the season remaining.
“Would we support it,” Horner is quoted as saying by MotorsportWeek.com about the expanded schedule. “I think in principle, yes, is the answer.
“I think if we are to introduce a twenty-second race the majority of teams are taking penalties and using four engines [already], so one would assume that it would make sense to increase the allocation on power units and components.”
Horner says if testing was cut then adding an additional engine for the season would be financially viable, but the current set-up, with four power units to cover the twenty-one races of 2019, is unlikely to work that well with an additional race.
“Perhaps if we look at the ratio and say ‘well, OK, rather than using engines for going testing and if we reduce the in-season testing and pre-season testing slightly, if that frees up an engine that the majority of teams they’re going to use anyway,” added Horner.
“From the next race there is going to be a whole raft of penalties coming through, and we’re only just halfway through the season, so introducing another race on top of that and expecting teams to get through on three engines and three sets of components is a bit of a tall ask.”