Christian Horner: 24-race F1 calendar is ‘on the limit’
Christian Horner believes a 24-race Formula 1 calendar is the limit of what is possible in a year.
F1 is set to confirm a 24-race calendar for 2023, a record-breaking season that will see the return of the Chinese Grand Prix, as well as races in Las Vegas, Qatar and, possibly, South Africa.
However, F1’s rapidly expanding calendar is putting increasing pressure on teams who, despite their attempts to rotate operational staff between races, are finding it increasingly difficult to give their crews enough training time. stop far from traveling and errands.
A 24-race calendar means that almost 50% of the weekends in 2023 will have an F1 race, which means that many back-to-back and triple streaks are needed to maintain the calendar between March and December, as well as to include a Mandatory summer closure.
With the 2023 calendar set to feature 20% more Grands Prix than the same calendar just 10 years ago, Horner was asked if such a grueling schedule was the right direction for the sport.
“When you talk about 24 out of 52 weekends in a year, that seems too much,” he told Sky F1.
“But when you look at the venues coming in, you think ‘OK, I would definitely go an extra weekend for Vegas.
“If South Africa was on the schedule, I would definitely make an extra weekend for that too.
“China could come back. It’s such a big market and I think they’re working hard to make weekends shorter and more operationally bearable for teams and traveling staff.
“He’s going to need that combination, but it’s just on the edge.”
What’s changing in the 2023 F1 calendar?
The 2023 F1 calendar has yet to be officially approved, with several ongoing races currently in negotiation over their future. This includes the Monaco Grand Prix, whose contract with F1 ended after the 2022 race – its future has never looked more uncertain than it does right now, with F1 appearing to be playing hardball over race organization by opening discussions with Nice near a race.
The Belgian and French Grands Prix also have an uncertain future, with their contracts expiring after the ’22 editions.
Following the introduction of the Miami Grand Prix this year, F1 will head west for the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix next year, meaning three US races are expected on next year’s calendar.
South Africa’s Kyalami is also set to be added to the calendar for the first time since 1993, meaning Antarctica is the only continent without a race!
There’s also the return to Shanghai for the first time since 2019, with the 2020 event being the first Grand Prix to be canceled when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Qatar, which hosted an inaugural race in 2021, is also expected to be included in next year’s calendar, while Russia will remain off after launching military action in neighboring Ukraine earlier this year.