Behind The Headlines – Putting the calendar together

Behind The Headlines Features

Note this started to be written three weeks ago, may not reflect current restrictions in place. Also, the announcements in recent days make some of this inaccurate at the time of publishing

The Formula One season is facing a logistical challenge as it looks to cramp in fifteen races into just twenty weeks between the 28th June and the week before Christmas. The logistics of re-organising races and various restrictions on travel

Fixed races have to be Singapore as it’s a street race

It makes sense for Silverstone to move to the 26 – 28 June as most of the teams are UK based. There are also discussions that the circuit could hold two races, I would say if that is the case the ‘European or English Grand Prix’ would be held back to back

Then a week later we would head to Paul Ricard for the French Grand Prix. After a week off we would have the Dutch and Belgian doubleheader as it makes sense for them to be back to back, Austria would follow the week after.

However, since I wrote this France extended a ban on mass gathering, so I swapped the Austrian race I put in on 03 – 05 July. Also, Belgian and Dutch governments have announced bans on mass gatherings.

If the situation improves in Italy, then its race will move to the 26 August followed by Russia on the 13th of September. Singapore is a fixed date in the season so has to take place on 20th September, by moving Sochi. Forward Melbourne takes its place on the 27th of September.

Following the Dutch government ban on mass gatherings on 21st April, I swapped the Russian GP to 26th July and moved Zandvoort to 6th of September and Monza back a week to 30th August.

Spanish Grand Prix to be cancelled and deferred the final year Hungary to be cancelled as it has a long term deal. I think it is impossible to do four races back to back as it will be too much for the teams and everyone involved in the sport.

Mexican Grand Prix cannot take place unless the Vietnamese Grand Prix is cancelled then moves to 08th November creating a triple header with Austin and Brazil.

Abu Dhabi moves to 20th December with Bahrain taking place a week before.

Abu Dhabi moves from the 27 – 29 November to the 18 – 20 December as it is contracted to be the final race. Young driver test to be cancelled until.

I’ve excluded the 27th December as its unlikely teams will want to race that weekend as it means Friday practice will take place on Christmas Day

My proposed Calendar

Sunday
Current Calendar
My Calendar
28 June Britain
05 July Austria European (UK)
12 July Britain
19 July Austria
26 July Hungary Russia
02 August Belgium
09 August
16 August France
26 August Belgium Italy
06 September Italy Dutch
13 September
20 September Singapore
27 September Russia Australian
04 October
11 October Japan Japanese
18 October Vietnamese
25 October Mexico
01 November USA Chinese
08 November
15 November USA
29 November Abu Dhabi Brazil
06 December
15 December Bahrain
20 December Abu Dhabi

 Super season

We could also run a super season over eighteen months with only the ‘core races’ in 2020 and is repeated in 2021. I would say the ‘core’ are Britain, USA, Italy, France, Brazil, Belgium and Mexico, these are from a historic and business view.

The season would start at in Austria on 03 – 05 July followed by a week later Silverstone

The Monaco GP is a Fixed date of 23rd of May 2021, that means I would slot the French GP in the week before allowing Miami to double up in the first North America doubleheader with Montreal. Then Silverstone takes the traditional Paul Ricard slot and Austria stays where it is. I think Monza has to be sadly dropped as Italy has been majorly affected by the Pandemic in 2020.

Japan would move forward a month to 06 September and the fixed Singapore race on 20th September followed by Russia. Brazil would move into the Japan slot followed by Canada, USA, Mexico.

Then we would have a doubleheader in Bahrain & Abu Dhabi in November and December. A five-week ‘winter shutdown’ over Christmas before returning to Bahrain for the 2021 leg, this is logical as it saves moving freight back to Europe.

Mexico would follow ahead of six days of testing over two weeks in Barcelona. That would end with the Spanish Grand Prix on 21st February before going to China for the 07th March followed by Melbourne a fortnight later.

Melbourne a week later than this year on 21 March running back to back with Hanoi on Palm Sunday. The week after we would go to Sochi running back to back with Baku for a double-header.

The 2021 European season would start at Zandvoort on the 2nd of May, with a French Rivera double-header at Paul Ricard on 16th and Monaco on 22nd May.

Then we will have the first North Americas leg, with the new Miami Grand Prix on 13th June a week after Canada. The second British Grand Prix will on 27th June, followed by Austria and Hungary. A slightly earlier summer break allowed the final European double-header on 29th in Spa and 5th at Monza.

The first flyway race in Singapore on 19th September followed by Suzuka at the start of October, followed by the double-header in Mexico City and Austin. Brazil a fortnight later then Abu Dhabi as the season finale.

Sunday
My Calendar
Current Calendar
05 July Austria
12 July Britain
19 July
26 July Hungary
02 August
09 August Belgium
16 August France
26 August Belgium
06 September Japan Italy
13 September
20 September Singapore
27 September Russia
04 October
11 October Brazil Japan
18 October Canada
25 October Mexico
01 November USA
08 November Chinese (2020)
15 November Brazil
29 November Bahrain Abu Dhabi
06 December Abu Dhabi
15 December Christmas Break
20 December
27 December

2021

03 January Christmas Break
10 January
17 January Bahrain
24 January
31 January Mexico (1)
07 February Barcelona Test 09–11 February
14 February 15–17 February
21 February Spanish
28 February
07 March Chinese (2021)
14
21 Australian
28 Vietnamese
4 April Easter Sunday
11 April Russian
17 April Azerbaijan
25 April
2 May Dutch
9 May
16 May French
23 May Monaco Fixed Date
30 May
06 June Canadian
13 Miami
20  
27 June British
04 July
11 July Austrian
18 July
25 July Hungarian
1 August Summer break
8 August
15 August
22 August
29 August Belgian
5 September Italian
12 September
19 September Singapore
26 September
03 October Japanese
17 October
19 October Mexico City
26 October USA
07 November
13 November Brazil
21 November
28 November Abu Dhabi

A core eight historic race season

F1 needs eight races to form a championship, we are going to exclude Monaco from this as it been cancelled. The core races in my view, Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Canada, USA, Brazil and Japan. I’m picking these races based on history rather than the business case.

Firstly, I would ask Japan to be a night race as a one-off, this season would start in August at Silverstone then fortnightly races in French, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Canada, USA and finale at Interlagos on. 15th November. This would be a shortt season, but is a minimum needed is eight races. I would start at Silverstone on 2nd August then hold bi-weekly races until mid-November.

Sunday
My Calendar
02 August Britain
09 August
16 August France
26 August
06 September Belgium
13 September
20 September Italy
27 September
04 October Japanese
11 October
18 October Canada
25 October
01 November USA
08 November
15 November Brazil

A shorter season would ensure a championship happens, in it, I’m thinking about the historical races and not the business. I’m also thinking about an even spread of races across the regions, each region of the world would race. You could even expand to nine races adding in Abu Dhabi, but I’ve not done that as this was an idea of getting just the minimum needed.

General complications

Any attempts to change the points system to say the best twenty-two races in a thirty-five race calendar I think will be over complicated. Previous attempts to change the system have not worked. The best twenty-two would either work at the end of the season, or you pick eleven from the first half and eleven from the second half.

The fewer races you have would mean every race would be more valuable, for example, an eight-race season means every race is worth 12.5% of your season, whereas a thirty-five race season a race would be

Also, more engines and gearboxes would be needed for a super season, for thirty-five races you would need seven engines and gearboxes. Gearboxes must last for five races, all this would increase the cost.

The biggest issues are the various restrictions which countries have put in place to halt to international travel and mass gatherings. This could hamper plans to get the whole season, there could be changes mid-season.

Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.