Guenther Steiner, Haas, Hungaroring, 2023

Teams would need second crews to expand calendar past 24 races – Steiner

2023 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Formula 1 teams would have to make significant changes in order for the series to further increase the length of its scheduler, says Guenther Steiner.

The 2024 F1 calendar includes a record-breaking 24 rounds. That is the limit set by the Concorde Agreement between the teams, F1 and the FIA, which runs until 2026.

Steiner believes the limit should remain at 24 races. The logistical difficulty of fitting 25 or more rounds into 52 weeks would require major changes to how F1 teams operate, he said.

“[Having] 24 races, with the business model we have got now, I think it’s the limit,” said the Haas team principal. “If you have more races, it needs to be a big step financially that you can actually have two teams [crews] running it. Otherwise, I think it’s very difficult to attract people to work in F1.

“It is putting an effort in. I see from my side, obviously I come in on Wednesdays [but] some of the crew which are the set-up crew, they are away sometimes months in a row.

“That’s a long time and for them it’s more difficult than for me. Obviously for us personally as well it’s not easy to be away 24 weekends for racing.”

The demands of the calendar can be shared between staff in some roles, said Steiner, but this is hard to achieve for every job they need to fill.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“Some people like to rotate a little bit. We try to do it for some like the IT department, they have got more chance to rotate.

“But mechanics and engineers, it’s difficult to rotate. We’ve got some rotating engineers, performance engineers, stuff like this. But the race engineers, rotating that one is difficult for the driver because he has to switch [engineers]. A lot of mechanics like to do all races, because they like to be with the team, with the car.

“Sometimes if a guy has got something going on at home, a wedding, we have got the capacity to swap them. But it’s not like a planned schedule that you have got two race teams as we would need to have if we have got more than 24 races.”

Teams would also have to hire more staff in order to increase rotation within the roles. That would increase their costs at a time when team’s spending is constrained by the budget cap.

Steiner isn’t convinced F1 needs to expand its calendar any further. He said holding too many races could risk putting people off watching F1, and the innovations added to the calendar in recent years have brought much-needed variety.

“There is also a saturation factor,” he said. “How we have the races in the moment, there’s 24 races, if we would have 24 races all the same, I think we would have already too many. But because they are so different now in itself, people always look forward to something.

“You have got six sprint weekends so people have ‘let’s go, the sprint weekend’, then you have got the night race. Now we have got next year [three] Saturday races. So it is a little bit of a mix. You always have something special to look for.

“But can you imagine 24 races, like in the old days when they were all cookie-cutter? You start at three o’clock, you finish at five, you would say after 20 I’ve got enough. But now there’s always some newness, a different thing in it. So I think that makes it interesting. But 24, I think we reached the limit with the business model we have got in the moment.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 F1 season

Browse all 2023 F1 season articles

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

35 comments on “Teams would need second crews to expand calendar past 24 races – Steiner”

  1. The only benefit of this huge calendar I’ve found for myself is that I have zero issues at all with tuning out of the GP’s held in places with dubious regimes in charge.

    I hope more people take this opportunity to actually not watch abominations such as the Saudi-Arabian, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Chinese GP’s.

    1. I was thinking about following some GPs less or even skipping a few next year. Especially those that will be held on a Saturday for no logical reason.
      But I always have 2 free hours over a weekend. If not live, I’ll watch them all at least delayed.

    2. Absolutely, though it hasn’t been difficult to avoid the Chinese Grand Prix in recent years ;)

      1. With the country’s cavalier attitude towards air pollution you can have the race on and still not see it.

    3. Agree. Have been just generally watching less. It’s very easy to do when there is a race every weekend. I can just skip it and watch one next weekend, or not. Using illegal streams and not spending a dime on F1.

      1. Same for me @darryn, I even find that I don’t actually schedule for an F1 weekend, it’s more like ‘oh, right I have time at _race time_ (which I tend to not quite know about at which time each one is nowadays), so yeah, I’ll follow nice rather than saying ‘no, please plan that on another weekend it is F1 then’ as it used to be.

        Sort of convenient, I suppose, but definitely a very different intensity of watching, which probably doesn’t increase their value and income if many switch to it like me.

  2. 24 races is already a few too many and I’ve already started skipping races for the first time since i started watching in the 80s.

    I love F1 but i don’t want to feel like all I’m doing is watching it almost every weekend from March to December.

    I would prefer 18 races with 2-3 week gaps in-between with double headers been rare and no triple headers at all as back then each race felt that bit more special.

    Would be interesting to see the data on the percentage of fans who watch every race now compared to when there was less than 20 races as i bet it’s a smaller figure now.

  3. “But because they are so different now in itself, people always look forward to something. […] now there’s always some newness, a different thing in it. ”
    No. I completely disagree with him on what makes for a “unique” GP or a GP seem fresh.
    For me, it is not the format, not in the slightest, not at all, because it doesn’t define the experience. It is ALL about the racing track, because that’s what defines everything. The Belgian GP with always be a drastically different experience to the Monaco GP, whereas 2 GPs on a cookie cutter flat Arabic tilkedromes will always feel the same no matter how different the weekend format is.

    Expanding the season is only expanding the number of redundant, passable GP weekends, which makes you less engaged with the sport.

    1. 2 GPs on a cookie cutter flat Arabic tilkedromes will always feel the same no matter how different the weekend format is


      EVERY Tilke track is the same. The only track he’s designed that’s remotely interesting is Istanbul Park and a) there is no Turkish GP ii) Tilke’s description of the track concept “I tried to replicate the dynamics and feel of sections of the Nordschleife” (riiiight) is an insult to my intelligence.

      1. EVERY Tilke track is the same. The only track he’s designed that’s remotely interesting is Istanbul Park

        Ever heard of Sepang? Or even the current version of the Red Bull Ring?

        Honestly, his projects (both new builds and updates) are so widely varied that this comment is really quite amusing in its inaccuracy.
        Unfortunately, F1 promoters and landowners of late seem to prefer a certain kind of track characteristic, and that’s entirely due to the types of car F1 keeps making.
        ‘Fix’ the F1 cars, and the circuit designs will follow.

        As to your chosen quote above – parts of the Turkey circuit do somewhat replicate certain sections of the Nordschleife. What do you want? A complete and perfect replica? It’s intended to be different, but still supply what the customer demands.
        Perhaps the ‘insult’ was justified.

  4. Of course they wouldn’t need more people. They have hundreds of them in each team already.
    Rotational rostering – I know that’s a foreign concept in F1, but it’s the norm in every other type of business. They should be doing it already. Among other benefits, it reduces fatigue and provides opportunities for more people to gain experience.
    Literally nobody in any F1 team needs to be at every single event. Not even the drivers.

    As for the number of events on the calendar – there’s nothing wrong with having 25 or more.
    From a spectator perspective, people will watch whichever and however many they wish to watch. Nobody watches every football match of a season, either. Choice is a great thing.
    From an organisational/operational standpoint – one, two or five more events wouldn’t make any significant difference to the competitors if they are well organised. Each one brings them increased income, they just might need to adapt their current staffing structure. Budget-wise, they’re getting plenty of money to send 40 people around the world every other week, even if it came at the cost of some car development with more events. That’s a decision they have to make – they could send 30 instead…

    Most of the events F1 has added in the last decade or two provide better racing and entertainment than the majority of those which have been permanently glued to the calendar for several decades anyway.
    The more GP’s there are, the more opportunities there are for a good one to happen. And even if they aren’t very good, at least nothing has been lost. Just don’t watch it – other people will.

    1. Rotational rostering

      You mean one team works this week and then a second… oh wait.

      1. Just like the good old days…

  5. 24 races lol.
    It would be easir to make it an all american series with a few european rounds.

    1. Coventry Climax
      12th August 2023, 18:29

      Yes wonderful idea, and while they’re at it, add another special for a reason to watch them all; ovals.

      Pity I have to put it here, to prevent certain comments: I’m not serious.

  6. You’ll need someone else to watch them, instead of me.

  7. To be fair they’ve been saying they would need another crew since they expanded from 16. If you need it hire a second crew and stop moaning.

  8. Yes, although teams could still only do so much rotation.
    Nevertheless, 24, besides being the upper limit, is a long-term stable target & ideal for overall balance anyway, as Domenicali has stated repeatedly.

  9. Coventry Climax
    12th August 2023, 19:08

    Does this guy really think the majority of fans watches -or will watch- races because some are at night races, some are on city streets, some are on saterday, some in a desert, some are sprints, some are new circuits and some are old?
    So now I’m supposed to only watch the specific type of race I like or what? Instead of following a championship?
    Wow, he’s suffering from even more brain damage than I thought.

    How much of that special, specific ‘atmosphere’ is conveyed to the TV audience on the broadcasts? A night race requires so much lighting you can hardly tell the difference on TV. Don’t by far the most people going to watch a race live, go there based on one single choice only: It being close by and affordable? They don’t go because the tarmac is pink.

    Layout, length, altitude and altitude differences, that’s about it, as far as I care about differences in circuits. The actual characteristics of it. And I think I can safely say that’s the same for most fans. That is what mostly generates the differences between a sterile track and an interesting one. Not what weekday it’s raced on.

    To see and follow who does a good job where, and why or why not, that’s what interests me, and that’s got nothing to do with it being a night race or a daytime race.
    Wet or dry is a traditionally interesting aspect, but that’s nearly killed and talked about enough already.

    What’s worrying, no scaring me, though, is that he’s right about these ‘interesting’ types of races having emerged lately, in favour over perfectly fine traditional formats and circuits like e.g. the Nurburgring.
    I can only hope this comes from Steiner’s personal weird mind and doesn’t reflect the general consensus among the paddock and the governing bodies. Scared I am though.

    1. They don’t go because the tarmac is pink.

      There is such a thing. The northbound road by me used to be “pink”. The aggregate in the tarmac was pink granite sourced from Northern Ontario and the road had a distinct pink hue to it.

      1. Nice one Fred Fedurch, though I guess you too don’t go there just because of the color :)

        Coventry Climax yeah, I like races because of racing, and while there are tracks we know ahead of time racing will likely be dull/absent unless external factors (weather) play a role, it’s not a night race, sprint (sigh, hardly racing way too often), or whatever that tells me it will be a good one. Spa I found interesting because now the cars can follow at high speed, but others found it boring bc. once again the winner was eminently clear, which is mostly the case this year (hence me looking behind it, but even so that does need cars to be close, which depends on the track characteristics).

        1. Coventry Climax
          13th August 2023, 19:54

          Being able to closely follow one another is indeed an important aspect, as it determines what the fights look like. It is however (mostly) a car design feature, and is not related to the agenda, and its number of races, nor is it related to the weekend format or the time of day they race, and it is only slightly related to the location of the race (weather, altitude), but not related to it being a regular circuit or a street circuit. It certainly isn’t related to the color of the tarmac! ;-) The relation with length of the race is at best debateable; thank you DRS and the way it’s currently implemented. It’s actually killing to track characteristics in my opinion.

  10. A night race requires so much lighting you can hardly tell the difference on TV.

    To me, there is one unwelcome difference: those lights make the racing environment look much colder and more depressing on TV than during a daytime race. Zero added atmosphere, in fact, a lot of it lost.

    1. Coventry Climax
      13th August 2023, 20:02


      Two more things, but besides the point here:
      – nightraces aren’t very helpful if you want to go carbon ‘neutral’
      – as for road relevance, it would make sense to equip the cars with lights, not the track. And film/broadcast using night vision camera’s.

      My opinion: Nightraces were a downright stupid idea to begin with.

  11. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    13th August 2023, 15:14

    This topic is the same as the “quantity over quality” discussion. For instance, would I prefer to have a larger stale donut from my local Dunking Donuts which feels like a brick or a lick-my-fingers-fresh donut from Mr. Donut in Japan? Would I rather have a craptastic Burger at any of my local restaurants or a superb meal for less money on a taverna overlooking the Aegean Sea?

    Would I rather have a Starbucks slice of lemon cake or an award-winning boule de Berlin in Belgium or a croissant in France?

    Sadly for 2/3s of my life I’ve only had access to stale donuts, subpar burgers (although I recently found a restaurant where the meat tastes like meat), and overprocessed lemon cakes…

    My family and I are now forced to start making our own meals as we are tired of eating “comfort food” for $200 (sometimes $250) a pop with a beer and the occasional glass of wine. The funniest part is how many times I’ve had to talk about cold food being served (it’s easily in the 100s over the past 10 years) and asked the waiter to touch the food upon serving it and their reaction is “oh my god, how can you eat that?” Which is exactly my own reaction when it’s served and I take a bite.

    So fewer races and better racing.

    1. #FirstWorldProblems

      Anyway, quantity and quality aren’t mutually exclusive – and in this case, they don’t even affect each other.
      Lowering the quantity of F1 races does not at all make them better. Likewise, raising the quantity does not make them worse. They are the same quality regardless of how many there are.

      If all you want is reduced quantity to subjectively raise your perception of each one – then just watch fewer of them.
      It’s not rocket science….

      1. I think a post replying about something (somewhat) related to F1 seems like the wrong place to use a hashtag like #FirstWorldProblems really, doesn’t it? F1 is all about that after all, unless one has a more exclusive label :)

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        13th August 2023, 17:07

        I believe that they are mutually exclusive – in fact, almost all restaurant chains have pretty much proven that. Given a choice, we’d all prefer to eat real food at a real restaurant. I have a feeling you have never tried fast food in the States cause McDonald’s in Europe and Japan and McDonald’s in the States are as similar as F1 and karting;-) I doubt they’d be allowed to serve the food they serve in the States in other countries and if they did, the store would close in a month.

        1. Given a choice, we’d all prefer to eat real food at a real restaurant.

          We all have different tastes – even from meal to meal. Usually I prefer home cooking, because it’s always fresh and I know exactly what is in it and where it came from.
          Personally, I have little to no interest in fancy, overpriced stuff that is only enjoyed for a few minutes anyway.

          I have a feeling you have never tried fast food in the States

          You got that right. It looks disgusting and just seeing it makes my appetite completely disappear. It doesn’t take a dietitian or doctor to understand why obesity is such a massive problem in that part of the world if those are the choices people are making. There are always better options available than that.

          Anyway – even with this comparison we can’t say that less McDonalds = better quality McDonalds…
          Also, a quality restaurant will continue to serve quality food, even in large quantities.

          Actually, you just stated yourself that McDonalds is vastly different in terms of quality in different countries – despite the fact that they serve approximately the same quantity….
          Perhaps they really aren’t mutually exclusive after all…

        2. Quantity and quality are definitely not mutually exclusive, even in food. I’ve been to restaurants where you can get large portions of high quality food for reasonable prices. Even in America (admittedly 2 decades ago) I had a decent quality, very large steak dinner.

          Fast food is rarely high quality no matter the quantity, but that’s because it isn’t supposed to be. It’s intended to be cheap and quick.

      3. Coventry Climax
        13th August 2023, 20:18

        They are mutually exclusive. The more people like it, the more mainstream it is. The more mainstream it is, the more it’s adapted to the overall preferences, the more it loses specifics. Specifics are generally what define taste, so mainstream is rather tasteless.
        The good part about real, decent restaurants, is going with more than one person, where each can order according to their specific preference. At home, you usually all eat the same. You get to enjoy each others company and a converstaion in a special ambience -and that’s not a word the people in most countries fully grasp the meaning of, as that’s unfortunately subject to mainstream too, usually- and you don’t have to clean up the mess afterwards.
        I like going out for dinner – from time to time. I’d get bored pretty soon if I did it everyday though.
        Trade off between Frequency and Special. Sounds familiar?

        1. Coventry Climax
          13th August 2023, 23:10

          Forgot the part about the ingredients for my fine restaurant meal: Some of them require many months of maturation in an environment of very specific humidity, and that does not combine particularly well with mass production.

        2. Trade off between Frequency and Special. Sounds familiar?

          Yes, it sounds like personal perception – and is not at all an objective measurement.
          The objective quality of the food at your favourite restaurant won’t change based on how many times you go there, only your perception of it changes when you feel like you’ve had enough or too much of it.

          As for your matured or fermented ingredients – they are almost certainly mass produced on a scale that satisfies more than your own personal desires. The manufacturer will produce as much product as they think they can sell.
          Regardless – this is not the same aspect that F1 runs on. F1 is a singular product that repeats multiple times – it is not multiple examples of a similar product produced in parallel or in series.
          It has and will always change to the tastes of its administrators, stakeholders and (the majority of) viewers.

        3. But the quality of that food remains the same no matter the portion size, nor how often you visit. If you can afford it, you could go every week and the quality will remain (approximately) constant. It may feel less special than if you go once every 6 months, but that doesn’t mean it will actually be any lower quality.

        4. Coventry Climax
          14th August 2023, 23:06

          You guys completely miss the point here. It’s not about me visiting that restaurant and at what frequency or what the portion sizes are, it’s about the restaurant serving 10 people an evening or 10.000 an evening.

Comments are closed.