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Daniel Ricciardo open to NASCAR-style calendar for Formula 1

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Daniel Ricciardo is open to Formula 1 taking a leaf out of NASCAR’s book and fitting more races into a season in order to spend more time behind the wheel of his car.

2016 was the longest season in F1 history, featuring 21 races, but the sport’s new owner, Liberty Media, is thought to be considering an expansion to as many as 25 events per year.

NASCAR enjoys a more intense schedule that F1, fitting 36 rounds into a season that lasts from February to November and features very few rest weeks.

When asked if F1 should expand to have more races, Ricciardo was receptive of the idea, believing that the logistical challenge would be the biggest task for teams to grapple with.

“I think it depends on how they structure it. It’s not too many,” Ricciardo said of a potential 25-race calendar.

“NASCAR do 36 or something. It’s a lot but the travel’s a lot less because they’re just in the U.S. So, I think it depends logistically how they do it.

“I like racing. If it means just racing and no testing and less other stuff then… maybe. We spend more days in front of cameras and other things than actually behind the wheel of a racing car.

“I’d be open to the idea.”

Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton echoed Ricciardo’s thoughts, but wants the weekend format to be shaken up to offer drivers some variety.

“I think if you asked any member of my team whether they’d want to do more races or less, they’d ask for more,” Hamilton said.

“It is definitely tough on the guys that are traveling but they love it. They’re addicted to it. They love motor racing. I’m like Daniel, I love racing.

“So I’m not opposed to more races but I think they’ve got to change the structure, at least on different weekends. If it’s the same four days for 25 races, I think that would be too much.

“If they spice it up and make a period during the season that’s perhaps more exciting than another, I think there’s a lot they can do.”

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel urged caution, though, believing that F1 has already hit its limit with a 20-race schedule for 2017.

“I think 25 is too many. I think 20 is enough, we don’t need more,” Vettel said.

“I think anything between 16 and 20 is the right number. Also, thinking of the efforts going in from the team point of view.

“For us it’s fairly easy, arriving more or less with hand luggage, doing the job and getting back. I think we’re on the better side. For a lot of the team, for the staff, it’s hard work.

“So, I think we are having enough races.”

Formula 1: Recapping the past week’s news

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This past week in Formula 1 was dominated by teams launching their 2018 challengers for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

A total of six teams took the covers off their new chassis for the world to see this week, joining Haas F1 Team and Williams Martini Racing in doing so.

The list below contains the teams that launched their 2018 chassis this week and the name of their 2018 chassis:

  • Red Bull Racing – RB14
  • Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team – C37
  • Renault Sport F1 Team – R.S.18
  • Scuderia Ferrari – SJ71H
  • Mercedes AMG Petronas – W09
  • McLaren F1 Team – MCL33

Testing for everyone begins on Monday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, home of the Spanish Grand Prix, beginning a stretch of two weeks of pre-season testing prior to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Sahara Force India and Scuderia Toro Rosso are expected to unveil their 2018 cars the morning of the first day of testing.

Force India Up for Sale?

Rumors about the future of Sahara Force India, already rumored to be changing names soon, took yet another interesting this week as news surfaced about a possible sale of the team to British energy drink firm Rich Energy.

This news also comes as current majority team owner Dr. Vijay Mallya faces developing legal troubles involving money laundering, further adding to the murky environment surrounding a team that has become the “best of the rest” behind Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull in recent years.

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