Christian Horner: 22 races on the same number of engines 'a tall ask'
Red Bull's Christian Horner says he would be open to agreeing to 22 races next season, so long as changes are made to the power unit allocation.
With the Spanish Grand Prix set to retain its place on the calendar following a last-minute financial package and the addition of the Vietnam GP, the calendar is set to expand to a record 22 races, taking into account the loss of the German GP which hasn't agreed a deal for 2020.
Liberty Media has put the proposal to the teams and whilst most are open to it, pending financial details, Horner raised concerns over the number of power unit components allowed under the regulations, which are already stretched thin.
"[We] would we support it," said Horner. "I think in principle, yes, is the answer.
"I think if we are to introduce a 22nd race the majority of teams are taking penalties and using four engines [already], so one would assume that it would make sense to increase the allocation on power units and components."
Teams are currently allowed to use four power units per season or face penalties for exceeding that tally. There have been suggestions of increasing this in recent seasons as drivers have faced penalties later in the season, but the FIA has argued against it for cost reasons.
Horner however says cutting testing – where teams can use as many engines as they wish – would save sufficient money to allow for extra in-season engines.
"Perhaps if we look at the ratio and say ‘well, OK, rather than using engines for going testing and if we reduce the in-season testing and pre-season testing slightly, if that frees up an engine that the majority of teams they’re going to use anyway," added the team boss.
"From the next race there is going to be a whole raft of penalties coming through, and we’re only just halfway through the season, so introducing another race on top of that and expecting teams to get through on three engines and three sets of components is a bit of a tall ask."