Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn has urged Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone not to lose sight of the sport’s heritage in his pursuit of new territories.

Come 2014, Ecclestone will realise his dream of turning F1 into a truly global sport as the last of the great untapped markets in Russia will finally stage a grand prix.

This weekend it is India that commands centre stage as F1 races on the subcontinent for the first time, and then next year the sport will again attempt to crack the United States.

The fact a second race in America was announced this week, to be staged in 2013 around a street circuit in New Jersey, adds further pressure on an already congested calendar.

Next season a record 20 races are scheduled, dependent on whether Bahrain has overcome its issues and whether South Korea can find the money to continue as a host.

But with the races in New Jersey and Russia, and further events being discussed for Argentina, Mexico and South Africa, it then becomes a question of which grands prix would be axed.

“There are provisions within the Concorde Agreement for teams to agree additional races, particularly those outside of Europe,” said Brawn.

“The teams, within reason, are keen to have extra races especially when they are as important as coming here to India or in Russia or an extra race in North America.

“So we are very supportive of those races and it’s great Bernie has achieved them.

“What we don’t want is to lose important races, and we can all sit here and debate which ones are important, but we don’t want to lose the iconic and historic heritage races.

“They are what makes Formula One so attractive for countries like India, to be part of that collection of races, to be a race like Monaco, Silverstone and Monza.

“If we lose those heritage races, those important historic races, then I think Formula One itself becomes less attractive.”

Not for the first time Brawn has also reiterated the fact 20 races is the limit, otherwise there is too much strain on manpower.

“We have to make sure we can all manage them, can all afford them and structure ourselves to deal with them,” added Brawn.

“The calendar is creaking a bit with 20 races in terms of the team, with three pairs of back-to-back races at the end of next year that means our staff are away for pretty long chunks of time.

“We need to look at how teams are going to be structured to cope with the extra number of races.”

Supporting Brawn’s theory, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said: “I feel 20 is probably the limit.

“It’s great to be going to new venues, like we are here in India this weekend.

“But with new circuits coming up in Russia and the two new ones in America, that inevitably puts pressure on the 20 places on the calendar.”


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