F1 bosses in talks with Saudi Arabia about 2021 race

FIA President Jean Todt (second left), Ross Brawn, Managing Director (Sporting) of the Formula One Group, and Formula One Group CEO Chase Carey (right). <i> Image: AFP / Roland Schlager </i>
FIA President Jean Todt (second left), Ross Brawn, Managing Director (Sporting) of the Formula One Group, and Formula One Group CEO Chase Carey (right). <i> Image: AFP / Roland Schlager </i>
Roland Schlager

Formula 1's owners Liberty Media is in talks with Saudi Arabia about a grand prix in the controversial Kingdom for 2021.

London's Times newspaper reveals that talks between Saudi officials and F1's owner have taken place "several" times.

Correspondent Rebecca Clancy also said the "teams have been asked for their views" about racing in Saudi Arabia, which is often accused of human rights violations.

But the expansion of the currently 21-race calendar to 22 races in 2020 and then even more in 2021 and beyond will also be controversial.

"If you look at 2021, at the moment we are discussing for 24 races," said Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto.

Claire Williams confirmed: "We are incredibly worried about the prospect of having 24, 25 races on the calendar.

"Asking the people who work for us to travel as much as that is a huge undertaking," she said.

"Bringing new parts to 21 races is hard work, bringing new parts to 25 is going to bring even more pressure on our businesses, so that for me is a huge concern."

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