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How “Regionalised” really is the 2024 F1 Calendar?

Written by Marcus Woodhouse, Edited by Debargha Banerjee

Credit: fia.com

According to f1.com, part of the aim behind the changes to the F1 calendar is:

“The pursuit of a more regionalised calendar, which in turn will make the sport more sustainable”.


At first glance, this seems like a much-needed, positive step to hitting F1’s target of being carbon neutral by 2030. Their sustainability strategy details “ultra efficient & low/zero carbon logistics & travel”. Then, surely a move to a more regionalised calendar could only be a big step forward?


The cracks in this plan start to appear upon closer inspection of the calendar. While groupings of mostly closely located races are shown, some races seem to be scheduled in such a way that does not make any sense.


The season opens with a Middle East double-header, before the teams pack up their lavish motorhomes and send them 12,000 km (7500 miles) to Australia. Next, it’s another 8000 km (5000 miles) to Suzuka for the Japanese GP and then, the freshly reinstated Chinese Grand Prix, until Miami becomes the destination - 13,000 km (8000 miles) this time before the European leg sets off. Canada pops up in the middle, racking up a further air time of 12,000 km (7500 miles) to and from Montreal. The circus remains in Europe until midway through September, when we head to Azerbaijan (3000 km / 2000 miles), before the teams get only three days to travel the 7000 km (4000 miles) to Singapore. F1 then visits the Americas for a quartet of races autumn, until the season rounds off with another trip to the Middle East.

Credit - wired.com

All in all, the 2024 F1 calendar requires the teams to travel approximately 123,000 km (76,000 miles) between races. This is a tremendous distance, and one that will cause heavy emissions of carbon dioxide, water contrails, soot, and nitrous oxides to trap additional heat in the atmosphere and warm the planet. However, it is still a decrease of 14,000 km (9000 miles) from this year’s total distance of 137,000 km (85,000 miles), despite the addition of the Chinese Grand Prix to make it a 24-race calendar for 2024.


Regardless, if the calendar was truly “regionalised”, the total distance for the teams to travel could be cut down to a mere 58,500 km (36,000 miles). This would start the season off at Albert Park, travelling upwards through the East Asian races, before diving down through the Americas. Next, the European leg of the calendar would commence, without any excessively far races thrown in the middle. Hungary would precede Azerbaijan, before the teams would travel down to finish the season in the Middle East. Yas Marina would even retain the privilege of setting the scene for the final races.


Admittedly, other factors than logistics must also be taken into consideration when organising the F1 calendar. These include:

  • Circuits paying large amounts of money to host the season opener/finale

  • Circuits being suitable only in certain seasons with optimal conditions for racing

  • Circuits in the same country not being consecutive for variation and entertainment

  • Circuits being positioned in traditional timeslots throughout the year

Credit: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The fact that the total travel could theoretically be more than halved is still a glaring sign that the new F1 calendar is still not “regionalised” and the sport isn’t hitting its sustainability goals yet. There is no doubt that F1 needs to rethink its calendar for 2025, because it has the possibility to have a sizeable, positive impact on the fate of the planet and the sport itself.


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