Start, Mugello, 2020

F1 should alternate venues to add “new excitement” to calendars – Steiner

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In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says that switching up circuits helps add excitement to Formula 1 seasons, compared to a static calendar

In brief

Changing circuits between seasons adds excitement to F1, says Steiner

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says that he feels changing the F1 calendar each season with new or returning circuits helps to provide more excitement to Formula 1.

The 2022 F1 season is set to be the longest in history by the number of rounds, with 23 grands prix planned and three sprint races during the year. Steiner says that while 23 rounds is a high number, there is fan demand to justify it.

“The calendar, 23 races, is a lot,” said Steiner. “But if the demand is there from the fans, if they want to see us, we need to do it. I think we should give the fans what they want, so they stay loyal to us.

“This year with a few races back, some very, very exciting races – the night race in Singapore, going back to Australia, which is always one of my favourite races, and then a new race in Miami in the United States, which is very exciting.”

After Formula 1 rearranged the calendars of the last two seasons on multiple occasions due to the impact of the pandemic, racing at circuits that historically held races like Imola and Istanbul Park and brand new venues like Mugello and Portimao, Steiner believes changing up the calendar adds value to the championship.

“I would say the last years we had good things,” he said. “We had circuits, which weren’t on the calendar for many years and we go back to them and some of the circuits which were new like Portugal two years ago.

“But now changing a little bit around, I think it always gives new excitement instead of having a solid calendar, every year the same – it’s more of the same. What the pandemic did and what [Formula 1] came up with to get around the pandemic, I think it was very good. And now going back to some of these races, which we really like, I think is exciting.”

Leclerc seals Formula Regional Asian Championship early

Ferrari academy driver Arthur Leclerc clinched the Formula Regional Asian Championship with two races to spare after dominating the first of three races in the final round in Abu Dhabi.

Leclerc, younger brother of Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc, claimed his fourth win of the series after dominating from pole to seal the championship in style. Fellow Ferrari academy driver Dino Beganovic finished second, with Red Bull juniors Jak Crawford and Isack Hadjar third and fourth, while Mercedes junior Paul Aron finished fifth.

Pepe Marti, second in the championship, fell towards the rear of the field at the start and failed to finish in the points. Leclerc will compete in a second season of the FIA Formula 3 championship this year, alongside Crawford and fellow Ferrari acadmey driver Ollie Bearman with Prema.

Gill hopes for more Formula E single-headers

Mahindra Formula E team principal Dilbagh Gill says that holding just one E-Prix at a location rather than a double-header weekend is more in the spirit of what the championship is intended to be.

After last weekend’s Mexico City E-Prix, Formula E will also hold single races in Monaco, Jakarta and Vancouver this season.

Gill says he hopes Formula E will move towards holding more single races in more locations during a season as protections around Covid-19 are reduced around the world.

“I think for us, we’ve always been better on a double header on the second day, so it’s obviously really important to us that we have to hit the ground running,” Gill says. “We don’t have the luxury of sleeping overnight and then coming back much stronger the next day.

“I think it’s exciting and I’d really like to come back to single-headers – I think that’s the format of this championship, what the guys came up [with] and what we wanted it to do. I think that’s also a sign that we are still coming out of the pandemic and we can go back towards single headers.”

Quotes: Hazel Southwell

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Comment of the day

Will F1’s new refereeing structure and ‘virtual race control room’ be as “great” an addition to the sport as George Russell believes it will? @Stefmeister is remaining cautious…

I’m going to reserve judgement until we see exactly what it is and how it works as right now I’m not sure I fully understand how it will be implemented or work.

I would like to see not just more consistency but also a bit of common sense as I think both have been lacking and I also would prefer decisions be made with the sport been put above the show.

I hope the changes been proposed will achieve those, But we’ll see.
@Stefmeister

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Mondol and Carlitox!

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  • Born on this day in 1937: Future IndyCar and NASCAR team owner, now owner of IndyCar Roger Penske (also a two-times F1 race starter)

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 21 comments on “F1 should alternate venues to add “new excitement” to calendars – Steiner”

    1. Seems ambitious to ask a group of investors to put up money to get a track on the f1 calendar “sometimes” with diminished returns.

      1. This rotation was part of the downfall of the German GP.

        If they are going to do such a thing, all events have to do it – not just some.
        But we all know that some places would just pay more to secure their place on the calendar every year…

      2. I’m sure I’ve read articles or discussions over the years on here with examples like “4 out of 5 year rotation contracts” for some tracks as being a possible compromise to shake up the calendar while still being regular enough to be worthwhile/sustainable for the circuit owners.

    2. One other thing I found (actually linked through from Nat Worsfold’s post) is that Randy Singh, a strategy engineer (I think possibly chief strategist) at McLaren has a great little Twitter thread on the changes to the Sporting Regs for 2022, including a couple of stuff you may have missed. Very much worth a quick read

    3. I second Günter’s take

    4. Alternating venues would be a good way to add more events without increasing the number of races per year. It may even increase ticket sales if some countries only get a once-every-two-year opportunity to host.

      It won’t happen but I would really love to see:
      20 races per year.
      25 points for the winner.
      Maximum of 500 points on offer.
      Nice round numbers…

      Forget fastest lap and sprint race points nonsense.

    5. I think we need a poll on if we ever wanted 20+ races. Quality over quantity? Would it be better with 30 races or with 15?

      1. The quality is the same regardless of the quantity, @maxv.
        The higher the quality, the higher the demand for quantity.

        1. One could argue against that. If olympics are hosted every year it takes something away from it. Still there will be the best athletes’ around the world. Drivers or any other athletes’ won’t lose their shine even if they are competing in every weekend. Someone could get bored to that but if we would see a race in a same location every weekend it would make let’s say the Monaco GP less valuable.

          1. Sure. We are all individuals and each have our own preferences.
            Some want more, some want less.
            If there’s too much for someone, they don’t have to watch it all and lower their hunger for it.

      2. as long as both major players are public noted companies (FOM/Liberty + the manufacturers behind the teams)
        we can show them polls every day and they can only shrug shoulders

    6. I wonder if the Leclercs are going to be the modern-day Schumachers? Arthur’s name keeps popping up more and more. What are the chances of both of them driving for Ferrari at the same time in a few years? (Sorry Carlos…)

      1. At the moment no chance at all as the seats are kind of taken. But if Lewis, Vettel, Bottas would retire and people are moving seats maybe.

    7. This is something touched on before, but every second season rotation would be unideal for many tracks income-wise, especially temporary ones, so easier said than done.
      BTW, what fan demand? 20-21 is perfectly okay, considering everything.

      Nat Worsfold’s tweet: I assumed global travel, but oh well, unfortunate either way.

      I share COTD’s views, especially the middle paragraph on consistency & common sense + putting sport above the show.

    8. It’s worth noting that the last FIA world championship to engage in large-scale rotation on its calendar was WRC in 2009-10, and it was abandoned after two seasons.

    9. Circuit rotation doesn’t have to be every other year. We can take 3 (usually struggling) circuits and alternate between them over 2 spots on the calendar, or 4 circuits over 3 spots, etc…

      Take for example a rotation in SW-Europe between the French, Spanish and Portuguese GP – 3 circuits for 2 spots in the calendar :
      in 2022 we’ll have Spain+France and no Portugal
      in 2023 we could have Spain+Portugal and no France
      and in 2024 we could have Portugal+France and no Spain
      And the cycle can start again. That way we ‘save’ 1 slot from the calendar and circuits can have a 2-year window to boost their fan base and one off-year where they can host other categories like Moto GP, WEC, etc…
      Other examples like the one above can theoretically be: Malaysia-Vietnam-India, or Germany-Hungary-Austria, or Turkey-Azerbaijan-Russia or ideally (to have fewer races in the Middle East) a 4-way rotation of UAE-Saudi Arabia-Qatar-Bahrain…

      1. The idea i’ve had is similar. I would divide tracks up into 3 tiers. #1 being classic circuits that host a race every year (Silverstone, Spa, Monaco, Monza in my mind). #2 being key markets (US, China, Japan, Mid East, etc) where there needs to be a race, but i don’t really care which circuit hosts it. #3 being every other circuit that is eligible to host. Your example would fall in under #2 in my solution. With this, some tracks we’d continue to see every year to keep the traditionalist happy, Places that are important to the business are still included, but still get a variety of new tracks and different venues every year.The problem is i can’t even begin to imagine the contractual complexities of setting all of that up.

    10. I think Steiner should design a competitive car to alternate suspense regarding usual suspects.

    11. The only certainty track wise seems to be all these Middle Eastern tracks buying super long contracts. I quite like Bahrain but the others not so much, especially when they’ve also bought the bigger races on the calendar with the opening and closing races. Sadly money talks as always so the only tracks likely to disappear off the calendar are going to be the tracks we all know and love.

    12. I’m curious too see if these ground effect cars will have the same driving skills required from the old ground effect cars from early 80s, where you couldn’t touch the kerbs not to disturb the ground effect by letting air underneath the car, and also if it will mean that the more aggressive and the more you’re able to keep your feet on the throttle when you run the mid to fast corners, more ground effect is generated and more glued to the floor the car will be.

    13. some racing fan
      22nd February 2022, 3:01

      I completely agree with Schmidt. Alternating between venues- particularly in Europe would be ideal. An alternation between Hungary and Turkey, Spain (Aragon) and Portugal, and on other continents- Qatar and Bahrain. And even between venues- say, Adelaide and Melbourne, Hockenheim and Nurburgring again, Silverstone and Donington Park (which would need to be brought up to standard), or, even, Monza, Imola and Mugello for the Italian GP.

    Comments are closed.