Formula 1 can be a very odd world at times. The FIA Sporting Regulations (Article 5.4) state that “the maximum number of events in the championship is 20”, and yet the FIA World Motor Sport Council last week voted through a 2014 calendar with 22 dates on the schedule.
How does that work?
The reality is to be found – so I am told – in the new arrangements that have just been agreed between the FIA and the Formula One group. My spies tell me that this new deal allows Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone to schedule a total of 25 races a year, on the understanding (of course) that the federation receives a healthy whack of cash for each additional event.
I hear that the federation will be making a cool $25 million a year in regulatory fees for 20 races and will then get an additional $1 million for each extra race.
The number of teams will remain restricted to 12 teams (and 24 cars) unless there is a change of rules and teams are allowed to compete with only one car each. Whether the teams want to agree to all this remains to be seen, but as they are quite incapable of agreeing to work together, they will no doubt be bullied into accepting whatever they are told to do. They are all currently saying that 20 races is enough and that if they have to do any more than that they will need to hire new staff in order to rotate crews. That will cost them a lot more money.