Despite the return of the Austrian Grand Prix to Formula One, the sport’s supremo Bernie Ecclestone said the F1 calendar will not be expanded for the 2014 season.
“We will have 20 races, not more,” the 82-year-old Ecclestone said on Wednesday’s to Kleine Zeitung, a newspaper based in Graz, Austria.
The comment comes a day after the announcement that the Grand Prix in Spielberg, Austria would return to the F1 calendar after an 11-year break. This fuelled speculation that there could be a record 21 F1 races in 2014.
Ecclestone agreed with Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz to a seven-year contract for the Austrian race to take place on the Red Bull course in Styria. But the Briton did not want to disclose any further details.
“I don’t know everything else at the moment. Ask me again in the summer,” said Ecclestone.
The 2014 F1 season will also see the debuts of races in New York and the Russian Olympic city of Sochi. This season’s calendar includes 19 races, meaning at least one or two races would have to give way.
Ecclestone said the return to Austria was to reward the positive work of the Red Bull team.
“Red Bull is very good for the sport, very good for Formula One. Everything is so professional at Red Bull, quality-wise at a high level. I think Red Bull will organise a very good grand prix,” said the rights owner.
Ecclestone also said he doesn’t worry about hotel capacity, which was one issue when the Grand Prix was stripped from Austria.
“It’s not uncharted waters, so there is no risk,” said the F1 boss.