Calendar talks a priority for F1 teams
Formula 1 teams believe the future shape of the calendar must be high on the list of subjects that needs sorting out with Bernie Ecclestone, amid fresh doubts about the prospects for traditional races.
With the German Grand Prix the latest event to be in danger, after the Nurburgring said it will not host next year's race unless fees are reduced, there is an increasing uncertainty about the fate for a number of historic events. With these including major markets for leading car manufacturers, including Britain, Japan, China and Germany, teams have admitted some concern about future schedules.
BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen thinks it inevitable that the matter will be brought up the next time the teams meet with Ecclestone.
"That is something we will certainly discuss with Bernie," Theissen told AUTOSPORT. "We have to make sure that we are in the important markets."
Theissen pointed out that concerns for his company were heightened by the fact that the three biggest markets for BMW – the United States, Germany and Britain – all could be absent from the calendar in the next few years.
"Obviously, we have to discuss this situation, and Bernie understands it," said Theissen. "It is always a matter of finding what the right balance is between what we can earn, what Bernie can earn, and what is important for the market."
When asked if a new Concorde Agreement would allow a specific veto on the calendar, Theissen said: "There is nothing explicit, but I would expect a much closer cooperation between the commercial rights holder and the teams if it comes to such decisions in the future."