The countdown is almost over for the 2021 season to begin and the teams and drivers are in the preparation phase to get to the best of the first race of the year, which will be the Bahrain Grand Prix. We have to remember that the highest category of motorsport will have its longest calendar in its history this year. A total of 23 races around the world may sound quite nice, especially if we consider that there will be a total of 9 races in a period of 11 weeks, however, not everything is as nice for the teams, drivers and all logistics personnel of these events, as for the fans. Carrying out a Formula 1 Grand Prix involves much more than just getting into the car and racing, it involves the entire journey from the team factories to the racetracks in different countries, travel for all the personnel, tons of equipment that will be used during the weekend, among many other issues that have to be taken into account. The 23-race calendar began to raise concerns around the paddock as the impact it will have on the staff is unknown.
The new president and CEO of Formula 1, Stefano Domenicali, has confirmed that the number of races on the calendar could be reduced in the coming years, in addition to proposing a new rotation system for some events, this with different purposes. This motion has been supported by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, as he believes it would bring more sustainability to some races as well as reducing the amount of pressure on team personnel, as well as drivers. This coupled with greater exclusivity to the Formula 1 Grand Prix since the value of them would increase considerably.
"I'd like to get to a point where we rotate a few races." The CEO of McLaren Racing commented in an interview for the “Motorsport.com”. “I am a great believer that if a good country wants to have a Grand Prix, that is a great thing. I think the more countries we race on, the better. "
“Having said that, I think there are two things to consider regarding the size of the calendar. First and foremost is your people. It's a brutal schedule. "
Zak Brown decided to put other sports championships as a comparison so that it would be understood that quantity does not equal quality.
“And the other is the lack of races. If you look at the NFL, I think there are 16 regular season games and three or four playoffs. The Olympic Games are very popular, that's every four years, just like the Soccer World Cup. " The American stated.
"We know that some Grands Prix shrink over time, so really, if you didn't make it an annual thing, but every two years, would some of those Grands Prix be more sustainable because they don't have that burn-out?"
Regarding the rotation model, Brown suggested that more than half of the season be permanent events, such as the Belgian, Italian, Monaco Grand Prix, while the last part are races that are rotated year after year.
“In our ideal world, you would do 20 races per year. Maybe there are 25 options, and maybe 15 of them are permanent events, because there is a commercial reality of this sport. You have to balance all interests and we need sport to join in. "
“I would like to see a day where we are in 25 markets, 15 permanent races and another 10 races; five of them are in one year and then five the next year. You can create more sustainable races in some of those cases because people will say, 'oh, it's only every two years, so I don't want to miss next year.'”