Why doesn’t Formula 1 group GPs by geographic proximity in the calendar?

Why doesn't Formula 1 group GPs by geographic proximity in the calendar?

LONDON, UK (UOL/FOLHAPRESS) – When Formula 1 releases a new calendar, the question arises: Why not bring the category together geographically close general practitioners? Especially in times when sport is looking for ways to be more sustainable, reducing travel hours would make perfect sense.

F1 commercial rights holder Liberty Media was aiming for that goal when it took over the class in 2017. However, it ended up finding that the task isn’t quite as simple as it seems.

The 2022 season, which will be the longest in history, with 23 races, will start with one – two – in other words, two races on consecutive weekends?? Which makes sense: Bahrain, where the final tests will be held before the tournament kicks off, and Saudi Arabia.

Then Melbourne’s turn comes, followed by Imola? When will it be, in fact, China?? Miami and Spain.

However, who would be wrong to think that from the Spanish stage onwards, F1 will continue in Europe, as there will be a race in Canada at the beginning of June, which precedes the Azerbaijan GP?? They are stages without, in other words, a double break in places separated by nearly 9,000 km.

This happens for a number of reasons. The first is that appointments for some GPs are guaranteed by contract. Montreal, Singapore and Monaco are three good examples. Other than that, the class is always at the mercy of countries that spend more money to participate in the race, such as Azerbaijan and Russia.

Added to this is the pressure experienced by the category of promoters to choose dates. In China, for example, the race almost always avoids competing with the Qingming Festival, a long holiday in which Shanghai is empty.

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In São Paulo, an event in which the majority of people in the stands come from outside the capital, the idea was the opposite: the advantage was that the competition coincide with the public advertising holiday. In the accounts of the city of São Paulo, which pays the race fee, the pool grows by as much as 25%, from R$100 to R$140 million, when the Grand Prix falls on a holiday.

In Japan, the thinking is the same, and the test is always done on the Sunday before the country’s sports holiday.

Liberty is responsible for responding to these requests because if the event attracts more people, the company can also charge more for it, remembering that this money is, in part, passed on to the teams, who end up agreeing with the calendar a lot. Logistical process for financial reasons.

A good example of this is the series of three consecutive weekend races, which debuted in 2018 at the expense of the World Cup. It came back last year with the pandemic justified, continued into 2021 for the same reason, and is set to be again in 2022: There will be six races on seven consecutive weekends, in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Singapore and Japan. .

For teams, sequencing like the latter also results in savings because, if, say, GPs in Singapore and Japan are separated for two weeks, staff and equipment will go back to Europe. So it’s a way to make more money and spend less, even if it exhausts the professionals.

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“I think we have to be realistic and not expect us to do more races, make more income, in a shorter period of time, without that kind of sequel. Of course we can shorten the weekend format, and make it a three-day event,” said Fred Vasseur, Head of Alpha. Romeo, but we are happy with the success and the demand for Formula 1. It’s positive that we don’t complain because we don’t do many races.

His peers argue that it is, in fact, a good thing that F1 has been expanding its calendar since six years ago, there were 19 races?? Without having to run between December and the end of March.

But the issue of holidays and dates specified in the contract is not the only one that affects the calendar. It is usual for organizers to not want their competitions to compete for audience with others who are geographically close, especially in the case of general practitioners who have many fans from abroad, such as Azerbaijan or Abu Dhabi, for example.

In the UAE, for years, an additional Yas Marina GP race fee has been paid to close out the season.

In addition, since this took place outdoors, the weather factor is also important. It is impractical to think of racing in the Middle East in the summer there, in the middle of the year, in the same way that European races cannot be played at the beginning or end of the year.

This happens both for the event to be more attractive to the public, and for the operation of the cars and tires, which work best when the ambient temperature does not fall below 10 ° C and does not exceed 35 ° C.

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F1 also seeks to avoid events with a lot of rain, for example the Brazilian race moved from March to November, largely because of this. In fact, also due to weather issues, from 2023 onwards, the class will have another race to accommodate it in the middle of its already full year.

That’s because the Russian Grand Prix will move from Sochi, the southernmost city with mild weather even outside of summer, to Saint Petersburg, where it will no longer be possible to race at the end of September, as it is today.

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