Drivers keen on more sustainable F1 calendar
By Mat Coch
Thursday 13th April, 2023 - 1:39am
George Russell has explained that a sustainable F1 calendar is important to the drivers as the sport expands in new markets.
Russell is a director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association and therefore holds a more overarching view of the sport than some of his peers.
It’s a role he’s held since 2021, working alongside chairman Alex Wurz and Anastasia Fowle in putting forward the drivers’ opinions on key matters.
One of those is the flow of the calendar, which looks set to expand to 24 races next season.
The 2023 schedule was set to include 24 events before the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix.
That was set to follow the Australian Grand Prix, which left the Albert Park event again as something of an orphan weekend.
“There’s obviously been a lot of talk about how sustainable the calendar is, you know, jumping from the Middle East, America and back to Europe,” Russell began.
” I think in years to come that will be improved. I think for a lot of the fans, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
“There are a lot of limitations with the climate [when] we race at certain events and limitations with street circuits of when they can open it.
“But definitely I think Australia needs to be back-to-back with a Middle Eastern race, because I think almost all of us flew out here on a Saturday or Sunday [before the race].
“All the mechanics, engineers, likewise, so you’re already losing those additional three or four days.
“So it makes sense to be back to back with a Middle Eastern race.”
Next year’s Australian Grand Prix is set to be the second round, following the year starting in Saudi Arabia just prior to Ramadan, likely on March 3.
It’s expected pre-season testing will remain in Bahrain before heading to Jeddah for the following weekend.
Bahrain is then tipped to appear later in the calendar, likely paired with other races in the region such as Qatar or Abu Dhabi.
The 2024 calendar is not expected to be published until well after the summer break.
Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section
Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]