F1 Schedule Continues to Grow With New Races

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There are extra Components 1 races than ever, and subsequent season there will likely be much more, with 24 races, essentially the most within the sport’s historical past.

This yr’s Components 1 schedule, at 23 occasions, ought to have set the report, however the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was canceled due to the intense rainfall that devastated the area. That occasion, on the Imola circuit in Italy, will return on Could 19, 2024, and would be the seventh race of the yr.

Additionally returning to the calendar is the Chinese language Grand Prix, which was final held on the Shanghai Worldwide Circuit in 2019. Components 1 and the Chinese language race’s promoter have a contract by 2025, and subsequent yr’s Grand Prix will likely be on April 21, the season’s fifth race.

“Now there’s a lot of people really into racing and Formula 1 who can’t wait to go back there — also myself — for the Grand Prix,” mentioned Zhou Guanyu of China, who drives for Alfa Romeo.

The opposite 22 Grands Prix from the 2023 calendar have all been retained, with 15 exterior of Western Europe, the place nearly all of the game’s personnel are primarily based. The season will start on March 2 in Bahrain and conclude on Dec. 8 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

“There is huge interest and continued demand for Formula 1, and I believe this calendar strikes the right balance between traditional races and new and existing venues,” mentioned Stefano Domenicali, the chief govt of Components 1.

There was motion towards regionalizing the calendar to scale back journey and support in sustainability, with some occasions, notably in Japan, Azerbaijan and Qatar, shifting within the schedule to ease journey.

Nonetheless, there are nonetheless some awkward journeys. The three occasions in the US stay separated, with Miami the sixth spherical on Could 5; Austin, Texas, the nineteenth spherical on Oct. 20; and Las Vegas the twenty second spherical on Nov. 23. Australia, the third spherical on March 24, is way from different occasions, however Japan is the following race, on April 7. Canada, the ninth spherical on June 9, is, like Australia, by itself amid a string of European occasions.

Some drivers are resigned to the expanded schedule.

“It’s too many [races] for me, but we just have to deal with it,” mentioned Max Verstappen of Crimson Bull after the calendar’s launch in July. “I think it’s a bit more logical the way it’s planned at least, so I guess that’s better for everyone.”

Lando Norris of McLaren additionally famous the quantity of races.

“I’d say 24 is a lot,” he mentioned. “If I had to put like a perfect number, I would say it’s probably closer to 20. For the lives of mechanics, engineers, everyone that travels, they’re away from their families, kids and so on, for so many days, more days than us as drivers are away, so it’s tougher for them.”

Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin first raced in a Grand Prix in 2001, when there have been 17 occasions, six of which had been exterior of Europe.

“I understand the benefits of 24 races, the reasons behind it, there’s a lot of interest in Formula 1, a lot of demand, so it’s good to go to new countries, new races, and there is new revenue,” he mentioned. “But I think for team members 18 is a good number. More than 18-19, and you start stressing the mechanics, the media. Everyone is just on the back foot from February to December.”

Groups rotate workers members when potential to present them a while off. There may be additionally a nine-day winter manufacturing facility shutdown when the websites that work on the automobiles have to be principally closed, in addition to a 14-day August recess. Drivers and others are additionally acutely aware about oversaturation, significantly with the addition of the dash races which have been held the day earlier than the principle race at six Grands Prix this yr.

There may be additionally the stability between retaining the historic venues, equivalent to Monaco and Silverstone in England, and in search of new ones. Components 1’s occasions within the Center East all have contracts stretching into the 2030s, however many older European occasions are on shorter offers and others, equivalent to France and Germany, have been discontinued. Monaco and Italy have contracts expiring after 2025, whereas Belgium’s contract expires on the finish of this yr.

The game is “looking to expand their calendar more and more, and you can see a lot of the new venues that are coming to Formula 1 are quite commercial venues, like Miami, or Vegas this year,” mentioned Stoffel Vandoorne, who raced in 2017 and 2018 for McLaren and is now an Aston Martin and McLaren reserve driver. “They’re big places that they’re going to, and I think that’s fine, absolutely fine, but I still think there needs to be a combination of both on the calendar, to retain these races, like Spa [in Belgium], like Suzuka [in Japan], that are the proper old-school tracks.”

Including races is nothing new. Saudi Arabia and Qatar had been added in 2021, Miami in 2022 and Las Vegas this yr. Every promoter pays a internet hosting price to Components 1, boosting its revenues, which in flip will increase prize cash for groups.

Underneath the Concorde Settlement, which binds collectively Components 1, the F.I.A. and the groups, the annual restrict for Grands Prix is 24, however different venues are nonetheless being explored.

Components 1 has lengthy been in search of a return to Africa because it strives to have a spherical on most continents. The Kyalami circuit in South Africa final hosted a Grand Prix in 1993.

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