How Formula 1 planned its tough 24-race calendar in 2023

( – 2023 Formula 1’s 24-race calendar may be good for the current state of the series, but the schedule has been worrying for many. For those working in the paddock, it was the first indicator of how many weekends would be spent away from home in the coming year.

Charles Leclerc

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There have been jokes about an impending boom in the divorce lawyers business in the Oxfordshire area, home to most of the Formula 1 teams, and trepidations about the busy flights that will take place next season.

The number of races on this calendar is not surprising. We knew it would, given the plans to add Qatar and Las Vegas, bring back China and keep Spa and Monaco. Concorde’s contractual limit of 24 races would always be met.

in 2023 calendar: no geographic groups!

It was the composition of the race that was a source of frustration for those working in Formula 1. Baku has been combined with Miami, with Montreal taking place a month later.

Qatar is nowhere close to other races in the Middle East, and Austin is scheduled just a month before Las Vegas, the latter of which has set up a season-ending duel with Abu Dhabi. On the face of it, this doesn’t make sense, especially after Formula 1 announced its intention to group races geographically where possible.

And that’s before considering the triple headers. Remember the first triple header in 2018, when teams said they never wanted to do it again and that their return in 2020 was unnecessary due to COVID-19.

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Next year there will be two groups of three again: Emilia-Romagna/Monaco/Spain and USA/Mexico/Brazil. Five races in six weeks before the end of the season may be exciting for fans, but it will push the field to its limits.

Reasons for termination

Compiling the 2023 race calendar for Formula 1 was not easy. Part of the pre-season schedules depended on South Africa now not having the race until 2024 at the earliest, which would affect other countries.

China was also delayed as Formula 1 assessed its plans with or without South Africa. The early date now means that sooner or later it should be clear whether a return to Shanghai is possible.

The split between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia earlier this year may seem strange given their physical proximity, but there is a certain logic to it. With testing in Bahrain taking place a week before the start of the season, combining the first two races would provide another triple whammy. This gap at least gives the teams and staff a chance to return home after the Bahrain trek.

As a single race, Australia has been criticized this year, but it could realistically only be combined with China – which obviously needs a longer distance to accommodate possible entry restrictions – or Qatar, which will then run as part of the Asian series. Singapore and Japan.

However, the 48 hour travel time per week to get to and from Melbourne is still a big challenge for the paddock.

Another planning difficulty was the return from Spa. The traditional date was no longer tenable as the events were fixed at the end of the year, leaving only two European events after the summer break: Zandvoort and Monza.

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The move from Spa to July meant that Imola had to drop, forming a trio with Monaco and Spain, which also played a role in Baku’s layoff.

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This was one of the biggest criticisms of Formula 1 when the calendar was released. In a series of races aimed at 2030 to achieve zero carbon emissions, the amount of air travel – 133,570 km from one race to another without a trip home – seems like a big step backwards.

In May, Formula 1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali informed team bosses that from 2023, as part of a commitment to sustainability,…

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