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F1’s record 23-race calendar for 2022 “is the absolute limit” – Tost

2022 F1 season

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AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has urged Formula 1 to reduce the length of its calendar ahead of the sport’s longest ever schedule.

The 2022 F1 calendar features a record 23 races, running from March to November. The return of the Qatar Grand Prix next year is due to increase the schedule even further.

However Tost warned F1 cannot expect there will always be as much appetite for races as there was during last year’s closely-fought world championship fight between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

“Last year, we were lucky because the races were very interesting, there were always fights, but we can’t expect that this will always be the case,” said Tost.

“So, for me 23 races is the absolute limit, not from the workload point of view, but because I am concerned that with such a high number of races, in the end it could cause people to lose interest in Formula 1.

“For me, the best number would be between 18 and 20 races because Formula 1 should be a premium product and we really should think about maybe reducing the number of races to keep it special. Personally, I am fine with 23 races or more, but this is not the question. The question is what’s best for the future of Formula 1.”

In order to ease the burden on staff F1 has changed its schedule this year, starting its Friday sessions later in the day and changing the arrangements for Thursday’s media day activities.

However the team’s head of sporting direction Marco Perrone says the benefit of this change for the team’s staff will not be felt immediately.

“I think we need some time to clearly understand the effect of the new sporting and technical regulations, and adapt our workload accordingly. I believe that we will start the season working in the same way as we were last year and then we’ll see where we are.

“So the team will still arrive at the track at the same time as in 2021, but we definitely need to have a look at what we can do in terms of how long we spend at the track. The Sporting Directors from all the teams are still discussing the format details, but a new set of Sporting Regulations should be released soon with all these changes.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 7 comments on “F1’s record 23-race calendar for 2022 “is the absolute limit” – Tost”

    1. The absolute limit … until someone offers us more money.

      1. Sounds like you didn’t even read the article

    2. Ironic from him, considering how vocal he’s been towards people complaining about schedule matters.
      Don’t forget Qatar GP isn’t the only one, but also Chinese GP, which definitely won’t get lost for a 4th consecutive season.
      These two mean at least one current event has to face sacrification & I can’t see any event being more under threat than the French GP. 20-21 is perfectly okay, though.

    3. For me, the best number would be between 18 and 20 races

      Same for me.

      Even though we had a good championship fight last year I was starting to feel a bit burnt out by the end & wasn’t really as engaged in the final few races as a result of just wanting to get to the end already. I’ve pretty much felt the same towards the ned of every season since it went above 20.

      I think back to when the number of races was 16-18 & how I used to look forward to each race & how I always used to get to the end of the season with that feeling of wanting more which helped create excitement/anticipation for the next, Something the gap until the start of the next season just used to help build. As the number of races has increased above 20 & especially more recently when we have started to see more double/triple headers it’s just for me started to feel like it’s on basically every weekend & as I say by the end i’ve just wanted it to be over.

      I have other things I want to do & friends/family I want to see as well as other categories I like to follow. More F1 races leaves less free weekends to do other things, More clashes with other categories & less time to catch up with up them. And as I said the other day the moving of start times to later in the afternoon since 2018 has just made that a bigger issue for me as it now feels like it takes up more of the day/weekend & stuff I would once do in the afternoon after F1 sessions I now struggle to fit in with sessions starting later (That is going to be even worse with qualifying starting an hour later this year).

      I love this sport, I really do. But I don’t like that feeling that i’m having to dedicate virtually every weekend to it, Especially now that it takes up more of the weekend with the later start times. Too much of anything isn’t ever a good a thing & for me at least i’m at that point with F1.

      1. I agree with your sentiment overall. It’s a lot of commitment to go thru this quantity of races, and with family life and other interests clashing with F1 , is hard to watch everything. Thanks to F1 TV I was able to watch every session last year, but I was amidst all the time having to record sessions, see on different times and be totally away from internet F1 sites for most of the season to avoid spoilers on races I haven’t watched yet. 18 races would be the best in my view.

    4. One thing I was told last year was that some of the data they have access to shows that as the number of races in a season has increased the percentage of fans who watched all of them has decreased.

      I have also been told a few times over the past decade or so that internal polling from both F1 & several broadcasters has repeatedly shown that a vast percentage of those who watch a majority of the F1 season feel that the optimum number of races is 18/19. I’ve also seen polling on sites such as this which have been at a similar figure. If you asked everyone involved with F1, especially those who attend races you would almost certainly get a similar figure from an overwhelming majority of those as well & I don’t think you would find many happy at the figure going above 20.

      It’s expected that staff turn over is going to increase dramatically from now on & that there has already been early signs of it with more than 1 team going into 2022 with drastically different looking race crews.

    5. I’ve posted similar comments to this a few times over the last few weeks and months, so apologies if you’re reading the same thing again, but it is topical in my opinion.

      As someone who for quite a few years had been firmly in the corner of having more races – the more the merrier, I thought – I now very much agree with Tost here. Having 22 races last year and a season that finished less than 2 weeks before Christmas completely took my energy and enthusiasm for the sport out of me. I won’t say it necessarily became a chore, because I wouldn’t force myself to watch it if I really didn’t want to, but I found myself becoming more and more tired of it as the season went on. Of course part of this was the result of the sheer amount of controversy and battling that happened both on and off track towards the end of last season, of the sort we haven’t really seen in years. However, 2021 went from being a truly great season for most of it to being a long slog by the final few races. Completely agree that 18-20 is the right amount of races.

    Comments are closed.