Growing F1 calendar “can’t come at the price of human health” – Horner

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In the round-up: Christian Horner says the 24-round 2024 F1 calendar is “right on the limit” of what teams’ staff can withstand.

In brief

F1 schedule “on the limit” – Horner

The 24-round calendar for the upcoming season is “right on the limit” of what teams can cope with, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

“It’s a brutal year, and I think it’s something that I’m sure will be on the agenda with Formula 1and the FIA to talk about how can we make life more bearable for everybody involved,” Horner told RaceFans. “Because it is a traveling circus, but it’s a global circus and we need to just make sure that we protect that and the people within it.

“Money is a big driver in any commercial sport. But it can’t come at the price of human health and wellbeing. I think we’re right on the limit.”

Cycling ‘great’ for my mental health – Bottas

Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas says his love of cycling and bike racing helps him deal with the mental strains of racing in Formula 1.

“For me, it’s definitely freedom,” Bottas told the Bobby & Jens podcast. “Especially when I travel and I mostly travel, even to the races, with my bike so I can actually see a lot. If I have a day off before things start, it’s a great way to explore and see places.

“The fitness aspect of it, for sure – it definitely keeps me fit and gives me good endurance. And also mentally I feel like it’s for me is a great way because the Formula 1 world can be really, really hectic. Like when we have back-to-back races or triple-headers, even one single ride between those kind of hectic weeks and days can really reset your mind and get your feet back on the ground again and understand the big picture of the world.”

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Comment of the day

Will Red Bull dominate again in 2024? Reader RH expects it to be closer but still Red Bull’s to lose…

Personally I think Mercedes and Ferrari have the most to gain but I have my doubts on their technical understanding. McLaren have a car that clearly works but they have to focus on efficiency now without losing downforce. This as Ferrari and Aston Martin have show how it can destabilise the car if not very careful.

Red Bull would still be favourites, but I expect many to win a handful of races.

Out of 24, I expect Red Bull to win between 12 to 18 races. The remaining teams will win the other six to 12 races, making the titles a formality.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sparckus, Martin Rasmussen and Dion!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born 100 years ago today: Two-times Argentinian Grand Prix starter Pablo Birger

Author information

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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24 comments on “Growing F1 calendar “can’t come at the price of human health” – Horner”

  1. F1 schedule “on the limit” – Horner

    It’s quite interesting the lengths people will go to to avoid accepting the inevitable.
    Staff rotation is necessary on this scale, but they’d rather make up arguments to avoid inconsistencies from one event to the next.
    F1 is a global industry, as noted – as such, it needs a global industry approach to operations and HR.
    Even other types of ‘circus’ don’t use the same performers and crew at every event. If a task requires 4 people, make sure there are at least 6 capable of doing it and available at all times.
    Given the number of design staff F1 teams employ on relatively huge pay, they could certainly swap a few out for an extra mechanic or two.

  2. Quite liked the Motorsport article, worth the read. I thought Ferrari were going to greater than usual lengths in Vegas to protect vision of Sainz undercarriage.

    “Suspension you try to design it to gain aero” seems pretty in line with what Newey is saying though, I don’t see the supposed chasm in philosophy.

    As for Horner I bet number of races would be less of an issue than sensible scheduling. If they did a tour of NA, SA, EU, ME, APAC (or whatever optimises weather conditions) then it would be far easier on the teams, but God forbid they make less money, and help the environment to boot.

    Cash is still king baby!

    1. Fully regionalized schedule would bring certain inconveniences regarding climatic conditions, although it wouldn’t mean less money because the number of GPs would be the same either way.
      Other factors such as triple-headers are more unideal.

      1. Touring a region would for sure mean less money. Far less likely for someone to go to 3 races in their region week after week. Far more likely to go 3 times in a year months apart. Especially those corporate suites where the moneys at.

        No other reason to visit regions as they do.

    2. “Suspension you try to design it to gain aero”, some understand this as suspension elements primarily helping the airflow while ignoring its crucial role of positioning the car properly to benefit aero performance. It is of paramount importance how it rolls and positions the floor relative to the ground under g forces of circular motion. Kerbing is also as important because it opens a lot of room to gain time if car settles quickly after hitting the kerbs. There is more to it under braking, low & high fuel load, etc…

  3. September 2010: “Lewis Hamilton agrees: “A season of 19 races is too demanding from the point of sponsors and endorsements.”

    July 2013 (Ross Brawn)”: “With some of the others, mechanics and technicians, we can do that. So 20 races I think is the sensible limit.”

    December 2015: “Jenson Button believes a Formula 1 calendar with more than 21 grands prix would prove to be too much for teams and their staff.”

    January 2020: “Team personnel on ‘the absolute limit’ with 22 races, Tost says”

    November 2020: “Teams admit concern over the proposed 23-date 2021 schedule”

    January 2024: “The 24-round calendar for the upcoming season is “right on the limit” of what teams can cope with, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.”

    (Sources: type quotes on Google)


    I think it’s massively hypocritical from the teams to be year after year saying “it’s on the limit” and at the same time keeping signing Concorde agreements where those limits kept raising.

    Nobody takes you, teams, seriously, because we know you’ll sign 30, 40 or whatever races if that gives you more money, no matter how hard can that impact on your team’s health. If 19 races was the limit on 2010, 20 won’t be doable. If 20 was the limit on 2013, 21 won’t be doable. And so on up until August 2020, signing for 25 races. You care little about “human health”.

    PS: sorry for typos.

    1. that’s not hypocrisy. Christian is trying to have an influence like the others, but teams do the racing and F1 does the organising.

      But F1 will be listening, when Red Bull speaks. And lol at your silly claims about what ‘we’ know

      I do wish they’d stop this renaming accounts, posters ought to have reputations

      1. @zann in that case, what they would note is that the messaging from Red Bull is contradictory on that front.

        On the one hand, you might have Horner complaining, but only a couple of days earlier, Marko was saying that he doesn’t have any problems with attending 24 races a season and doesn’t think it’s that stressful.

        Meanwhile, they’ve also had Franz Tost arguing that the sport needed a larger number of races on the calendar. Back in 2018, he was arguing “we are a global player and therefore we need a certain number of races to stay a global player. And I would absolutely refuse to go below 20 races. The year has 52 weeks, therefore we have a lot of time.”. In that interview, Tost put 20 races as the absolute minimum, and preferably higher – at least 20 to 22 races per season was what he considered “a good number” of races.

        A few years later, when the calendar had expanded to 23 races, Tost was saying that people should be happy that the sport was enjoying enough success to support that many races on the calendar, and that people should either shut up and get on with it, or they should get lost.

        1. Helmut was just talking about being able to do it himself, at 80, or 83 even. Not too amazing as he just has to sit around while the others do everything

          I suppose the Donald n Joe show has made wrinkly fashionable 🙂

    2. I am not sure the people you’ve quoted there have ultimate control though over what is and isn’t signed.

    3. The teams have to participate in all the races. Even if it is in shambolic fashion like Arrows did in 2002.

      So yes, they all desperately want the money and will go race in every country Liberty thinks of, including the USA and China, but they also have little choice but to publicly complain when they feel they’re stretched thin.

    4. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      6th January 2024, 10:29

      Money talks, they all talk this talk but never take action as ultimately races are the money makers for the entire enterprise.

      If someone threatened a teams bonus or revenue they’d all threaten to quit in a heartbeat but when it comes to this issue all we hear are empty words.

    5. I’m puzzled how no one understands what I have written.

      The word “limit” is pretty clear. If 19 is the limit and after some extra money you do 20, 19 wasn’t the limit, so you were lying. Argument valid for 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 at the moment.

      Ross “20 races is the sensible limit” Brawn was on charge of the F1 during 2018 (21 races), 2019 (21) and 2021 (22), so he was “insensible” during his tenure.

      Christian “24 is right on the limit” Horner is the same Christian Horner who signed the Concorde Agreement in 2020 that allows F1 to expand up until 25. I may think that if FOM comes with a new limit of, say, 28 and more money, Christian will sign, so 24 is not the limit and he was lying again. Do you know why do I know it? Because in October 2013:

      “Red Bull boss Christian Horner thinks plans for a 22-race Formula 1 calendar next year are ‘beyond the limit’ of what is acceptable”.

      22 is “beyond the limit”. After some money, 24 is “right on the limit”. So let me doubt about what is “the limit” and how some people can bend their limits with money. No boss, no big name in F1 cares about human health. That’s hypocritical.

      1. Christian Horner doesn’t own RedBull Racing. Ross Brawn didn’t own Mercedes in 2013 and it’s doubtful in his role at F1 he would have a say in how many races are on calender.

        These guys can perfectly highlight the number of races being too much, but they still have to fulfill their roles.

      2. It’s not that literal, though. You could technically have 121 three-day Grand Prix in a single year.

        The ‘limit’ is more the number of races they can work with without making (significant) changes to how they run their operation. It doesn’t mean they can’t ever do that many races, but – especially in this cost-cap era – that something has to give if the number of races is increased further. It’s always a matter of trade offs, not absolutes.

    6. @diezcilindros Teams most certainly wouldn’t sign for 30 or 40 simply because such high amounts would never work practically & logistically in a global series like F1 anyway.
      F1 isn’t like Nascar, after all.

      1. Besides, 25 was never set in 2020 & 24 is a long-term stable target as stated by Domenicali several times.

    7. The number of races is keeping up with the year, more or less!
      2030: 30 races…

    8. If anything it shows teams have no influence what so ever on the financial side of things. Concord agreement is already dead in the water

  4. I’m liking what James Allison is saying in that MPH article, and the clues about what Mike Elliott was doing wrong. James is good with suspension, same as Adrian, in fact I think they have a lot in common and I’m thinking their cars could be quite close this year

  5. As an arm chair fan. I have to question can i take 25 weekends out 52 week year to watch all the races. The answer is i can’t.

    Less is more in some case.

    1. Quality over quantity any time.

  6. Rotate staff. Stop complaining.

  7. 9 teams have a problem (to varying degrees) with their cars eating through tires with the car set up for adequate downforce. 1 team has a problem getting their tires warm enough to get proper grip even with the downforce dialed up. You don’t have to be Kreskin to see how 24 is going to play out at race pace.

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