With as many as 23 races cramped in the F1 calendar, there is a lot of logistical hassle related to that. Not only the personnel travelling, but moving the entire F1 circus from one country to another, it seems like the idea of grouping regional races together should’ve been introduced long time ago. It was not.
Fortunately now, it seems that the principals of F1 teams have backed up that idea. After this year’s calendar and a few races out of the blue (Miami in the beginning of May or Azerbaijan and Canada fit in between the European leg of the Championship), there might be some shuffling around necessary, but it will be ultimately the healthiest approach to the F1 calendar. It will require the teams to spend less money, generate less waste and emissions, and would mean the team personnel wouldn’t have to strain their health with the constant environmental changes and jet-lags.
A few of the F1 Bosses spoke about it during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend to MotorLAT and other media outlets.
Christian Horner, the Team Principal of Red Bull Racing said: “I think if you look at the calendar, it makes sense to group some of the races together. Whether it's some of the American races, some of the Asian races, Europe, obviously. Some of the calendar this year when you look at the geographics of it, Azerbaijan to Montreal, going to Australia for a weekend, it's about as expensive as you could make it. So I think Stefano is sympathetic to that, but of course, he's got many challenges with the different promoters to get a calendar that you want.”
Gunther Steiner, the Team Principal of Haas seemed to echo Horner’s sentiment. As he said: "As always there's a lot of people involved, and there's a lot of work to be done to make everybody happy. But in the end I think for sustainability it's a fantastic thing. And then if we achieve that, a lot of things go with it, positive ones. There are no negatives to it. It's just a difficult thing to achieve. You have how much time you've got that you're not in the heat, and things like this to think about. Canada you have to worry about the cold, so you cannot take it too early. But it's good that they work on it, and hopefully in the future we at least can make some steps.”
Otmar Szafnauer, the Principal of Alpine, said his only concern is that certain races might loose some spectators. As he said: "It's a good move as long as if we regionalise you don't cannibalise one fan from the other. Having say Miami and Montreal a week or two apart, they're far enough apart [geographically], they are different countries as well, that it can be done. I think it makes sense. He was talking about maybe doing Miami then Montreal, because we're out there.”
This year’s Monaco GP will be the first one that has the regular weekend approach. Before, it was a standard that the Free Practice sessions would take place on Thursday instead of Friday. This year’s GP will have the same weekend approach like all of the other GP’s. About that, Gunther Steiner said: "We need to go with the times. Nothing is there to stay forever, we always need to try to stay current. The world has changed a lot In the last 20 years. Monaco was always on Thursday, not on Friday. This is the first year we do it on Friday, and nothing will change. It will seem like we always did it like this. It will be not a worse show, because it was just a tradition. It's nice to have traditions, but we need to go with the times."