The Formula One calendar for 2023 has been announced with a schedule of 24 races which means it will be the longest season on record.
The season will kick off in Bahrain on March 5th and end in Abu Dhabi on November 26th; this has already led to criticism with many fans and journalists pointing out it makes little sense to separate two races that are close together geographically.
There has been a controversy for several years now over the air miles Formula One teams rack up as they continually travel the world with a lack of geographical order. The current season is still ongoing and the same criticisms have been made with the last race of Italy being followed by the Singapore Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen currently leads the championship and looks to be the certain winner offered at 2/5, according to Betfair’s outright odds, for those following the sports betting online. Charles Leclerc is the closest competitor at 4/1 in Betfair’s betting tips; but in all honesty, the season’s fate appears to be sealed and no wonder fans are focused on other talking points such as issues with next season’s calendar.
Another problem that has been raised is that the United States, Mexico, and Brazil doubleheader was not discussed with the teams and now still needs to be given the go-ahead by the teams. Although the teams will likely agree it is a sign of the disconnect between the governing board of the sport and the driver teams.
It has been proposed many times that the races could be grouped by continent and each continent’s races could be separated by a few weeks break, but utilizing this kind of approach would prove difficult with sponsors and television rights holders.
There is an argument to be made that the entertainment of the sport is reliant on races being held in completely different settings and on different kinds of tracks on every race day. And so having all of the European races back to back for example could result in some people losing interest and of course leading to lost revenue.
Even looking at the grouping of some of the European races next year the bordering nations of The Netherlands and Belgium are not scheduled to be a doubleheader. The Netherlands previews Italy and what is more bizarre is Belgium follows Hungary which follows Silverstone in the United Kingdom.
Teams will be traveling from the UK to Eastern Europe and back to Western Europe; Belgium would be followed by the mid-season break before the Netherlands would be followed by a trip south down to Italy. It seems that even when European races are grouped together they defy logic; Belgium and the Netherlands are some of the closest nations to the UK yet a trip to just north of the Balkans comes in between.
The proposed calendar for the F1 2023 season is set to result in teams accumulating 84,000 miles of traveling, which is certainly not beneficial in terms of Co2 emissions. Changes need to be made in the sport if it is to become more connected with the literal people at the heart of it, the fans, and also if it was more thoughtful of the impact of Co2 emissions on climate change.