2011 F1 calendar could be longest ever

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Twenty races next year, 21 by 2012? The F1 calendar looks set to expand
Twenty races next year, 21 by 2012? The F1 calendar looks set to expand

Bernie Ecclestone has talked in recent weeks about expanding the F1 calendar to 24 races.

The early signs are next year’s F1 schedule could be the longest ever – with the new Indian Grand Prix taking the championship up to 20 races for the first time.

It seems increasingly likely the 19 venues visited this year will all be retained for 2011.

The Turkish and Chinese rounds had been in some doubts, the former seeing very poor crowds in recent years and the latter reaching the end of its original seven-year contract this year.

But Ecclestone dropped hints during the Turkish Grand Prix weekend that the race would be staying on the calendar.

Mercedes, who supply three F1 teams including their own factory outfit, are understood to be keen on keeping a race in China, an important market for them.

Other races whose long-term future had seemed uncertain now look more secure. The owners of the Hockenheimring have said they expect to sell more tickets this year (thank you, Michael Schumacher) and Silverstone has finally nailed down a long-term contract.

With India set to join the calendar next year F1 looks set to visit 20 venues in 2011:

2011 F1 race locations

View F1 race locations 2011 in a larger map

NB. Indian Grand Prix location is approximate

The teams have raised some objections to the amount of long-distance travelling this will involve. Their concerns make a lot of sense when you look at how the calendar is organised.

Why are Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, two races that are reasonably close together, at opposite ends of the calendar? Would it not make sense to run these races on consecutive weekends to save flying all the way there and back?

The same goes for the Malaysian and Singapore rounds. And would it not also make sense to move the Chinese round closer to the Korean and Japanese races?

Despite the team’s concerns the signs all point to the calendar getting larger. The 2012 United States Grand Prix could move the calendar up to 21 races.

(As an aside, if that race is paired with the Canadian round as seems likely, a June race in Texas would be held in punishing heat. The only previous F1 race in Texas – the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix, held in July – was one of the hottest races ever.)

On top of that Ecclestone is looking into possible future races in Rome and Russia.

The prospect of a larger calendar is obviously good news for fans of the sport and, in the long term, is probably a benefit for F1 too.

But how far the teams can accommodate more races in distant venues, at a time when they’re trying to bring their costs down, remains to be seen.

Read more: F1 2011 Season

135 comments on “2011 F1 calendar could be longest ever”

  1. Marc Connell
    5th June 2010, 20:14

    Because its so long i have to choose between going kart racing or watch the F1. I usely end up recording it. Thank god for sky +

    1. I don’t think the cost is an issue. Yes it is expensive to fly to overseas races but it is nothing compared to what teams spend on development.

    2. There’s always iPlayer.

  2. Yesssss!! More races!

    1. More races the better!! and try putting Turkish back in August! crowds working within school holidays in England might find it easier to go agan.

  3. And there’s one more thing to consider: reorganising weekends to make it more attractive. I would prefer less GPs with more entertaining rather than flying around the globe making money for FOM. There were some talks in the past. Does anybody know where we are with it?

  4. The longer the season the better, I’d love 20+ races per season.

    By the way, your picture caption is wrong, it says 20 races next year, 21 in 2011 – next year is 2011!

  5. If Bernnie wants more races the FIA really need to allow more engines and gearboxes per driver per season or else eyeryone will be driving to preserve rather than really race at full throttle.

    1. Agreed. If 8 engines now have to last 21 races that’s a big difference over last year’s 17 races. That should at LEAST allow for a ninth engine.

      1. Jarred Walmsley
        7th June 2010, 10:09

        I’ve just worked it out and based on the 8 engines and 17 races each engine would be required to run 2.125 race weekends so based on that figure for 21 races that is 9.9 engines so rounded is 10 engines to keep the same ratio.

  6. Ned Flanders
    5th June 2010, 20:33

    Looking at that map you could argue a more approriate name for the ‘world championship’ is the Eurasian championship, or the Northern hemisphere, the distribution of races is seriously imbalanced. Most concerningly of all to me is that Africa remains unrepresented. I could well see a South African GP within a few years though- assuming they carry the momentum of the World Cup into the future.

    Out of curiosity I’ve just checked Wikipedia to see how the distribution of WRC and Moto GP events compare to F1. In WRC, there have only been two events per season outside of Europe and Asia in 2009 and 2010. However, at least the Europeans races are spread around the continent a bit more; there are plenty of rallies in Scandinavia and Eastern and Southern Europe.

    Moto GP is no better either. All but 3 races are held in Europe and Asia, and there are no races in South America or South Africa. Worst of all, there are 3 countries which get more than one event- Spain, incredibly, has 4.

    1. Søren Kaae
      5th June 2010, 21:45

      Well, I guess that WRC being present in the scandinavian countries, is that the sport is very popular in Finland and Sweden. Also the lack of big international series going here is caused by the lack of adequate tracks.
      Also, a Grand Prix hosting track is unlikely to be established, as the noise – regulations are extremely strict, and so many environmental idiots fighting against motor racing.

      1. Ned Flanders
        5th June 2010, 22:17

        There were rumours of a Finnish Grand Prix on a Helsinki street circuit in the FOTA series (which of course never materialised). Presumably they were unfounded, but a Finnish GP is something I bet all racing fans would love to see

        1. The Dutch Bear
          6th June 2010, 9:43

          Racing in Helsinki has happened before, in 1995 and 1996 there were DTM/ITC races and in 1997 FIA GT/F3000 races. I think it would be great and a recognition to Finland, they have the most world champions per inhabitant and not to mention their domination in rallying.

      2. UneedAFinn2Win
        5th June 2010, 23:04

        Not true, there’s at least one serious effort going on, Gotlandring http://www.gotlandring.com/index.php

        If there ever will be a Scandinavian GP (fingers crossed!), that’s the place, or it will be the streets of one of our capitols.

        1. Who named that place?

          1. Prisoner Monkeys
            6th June 2010, 3:23

            It’s on the isle of Gotland. Hence the name.

        2. Søren Kaae
          6th June 2010, 9:08

          I doubt that Copenhagen, Oslo or Stockholm would have interest in organizing a F1 event, and so far the Gotlandring seem inadequate.

          Also watching STCC from Göteborg, really showed all the horrors of a street race…

    2. It’s patently obvious why there are no races in Africa, there’s no money or interest. I see no reason why FOM should schedule races there simply to make the map look a little prettier. Russia and North America are the glaring ommisions.

      1. Ned Flanders
        5th June 2010, 22:14

        I think the fact that South Africa is hosting the World Cup finals suggests there is money, and the fact that that they hosted a successful GP for decades suggests there is interest.

        For now, South Africa is surely the only sub Saharan African country capable of hosting a race, but in 10- 15 years time, who knows?

        1. MouseNightshirt
          6th June 2010, 3:16

          I really doubt that in 10-15 years things will have changed much. It needs to be commercially viable and sponsors will not really see the value of a market they have no chance of penetrating.

          South Africa is really the only country capable of it and will be the only country capable of it for many decades to come.

          1. A Finnish Gp will be great but now sure where they will hold that.

        2. I think South Africa will in a worse than it currently is in 10-15 years

          1. I would love to see a GP in Egypt with the pyrimids as a backdrop.

    3. Electrolite
      6th June 2010, 22:17

      Exactly my thoughts! Just scanned the map and saw a big unmarked Africa.

      South Africa would be the obvious place, if any, but a Saharan GP would be immense, may be impossible given the temperatures and conditions? I don’t really know much about that, but an interesting thought none the less.

  7. Aren’t they meant to be cost cutting? But anyway, for the fans the more races the better :)

  8. I wonder how much money could be saved if the travel was organised efficiently. Obviously the weather might play a part in the order of the calender, but if the season was split by grouping nearby races. Surley it’d be cheaper. An less taxing on the teams.

  9. Mark in Florida
    5th June 2010, 21:43

    Yes they`ll have to giggle the calender a bit.If you want to see a ridiculously long calender for racing look at NASCAR`s schedule.They will certainly need to combine races together in the same geographic areas that only makes logistically.

  10. Keith, what do you think to the rumoura of the Korean Grand Prix being cancelled? And if so, would they just laeve a four week break, or would Bernie organise a one off Grand Prix as a replacement? French at Paul Ricard for example, that should be easy to set up for him.

    As for the original point, I think critical mass would be 20 – 25 Grands Prix per season. Extending to season for more races is a good move IMO, but to cut friday practice like Williams are proposing would mean the end for F1 at tracks like Silverstone, where people actually turn up.

    1. If it got cancelled, which I doubt it, surely they couldn’t replace the race with something else. But if they didn’t and it meant someone couldn’t win the title because of it it would be a shame.

      1. Newnhamlea1
        5th June 2010, 22:14

        They are talking of replacing it with a french grand prix at magny-cours in the event of the grand prix being cancelled because of violence or the circuit not being complete.

        1. I do like the idea of having 20-25 races per season. But i do think that Korea is not canceled but would like to see the French Gp back even if in Magny-Cours.

    2. Whenever a new race comes on the calendar there are always rumours it won’t happen for some reason.

      It was interesting that, when the first rumours of Korea not happening started to emerge, some journalists were saying “oh well, we can’t be bothered going all the way out there anyway.” You have to wonder if that colours their view of whether or not the race is going to happen.

      In the case of Korea I don’t expect they’re any less capable of getting the circuit built in time than any other venue is. Once Bernie Ecclestone puts something on the calendar it usually arrives – even if that means parachuting some people in the make sure the job gets done.

      You have to ask when was the last time a race was on the final calendar but then didn’t happen. I’m not 100% sure when that was but in 1997 the Portuguee round was dropped and replaced with a race at Jerez.

      This is all separate from the international situation between North and South Korea. If that escalates into a full-blown conflict that could force the race to be cancelled or postponed.

      1. I tend to agree, Keith. I think the only real chance for the Korean GP not to happen is if armed hostilites resume between North and South.

        1. Agree with Keith when Bernie something he mean it.

          1. Er… shortcuts?

  11. Newnhamlea1
    5th June 2010, 21:49

    I can see the season being divided into an asian season, an american season and a european season next year. Just on a side note, you seem to forget that the french grand prix also has a contract for the future, but no venue has been selected.

    1. theRoswellite
      7th June 2010, 0:09

      A couple of thoughts about the expansion;

      –obviously great for anyone who takes the time to follow a F1 blog.

      –teams can adjust, possibly using alternate teams or other personnel. If we go to 24 or more races you will need to have some kind of a rotation system or there will be serious burnout. With the always improving sophistication of telecommunications, it should be possible for some of the key personnel to “participate” in the race from headquarters.

      –If some of the away races could be grouped together, even to consecutive weekends; promoters and other commercial interests should be able to put together special travel packages which would attract some significant foreign attendance. (a super-trip being of course…three races over a two week period.)

      –Also, remembering that merchandising or promotion can be everything in any commercial endeavor, the establishment of sub-sets of races which can be called something like…the North American Championship…consisting of say the Canadian, US and Mexican GP’s (future)…or, the Asian Championship with…you fill in all the obvious.

      At first, for we regulars at least, the idea might seem disingenuous or artificial; but for the casual fan ( 75%+???) it could be an easier way to identify with or follow the action. This would of course be easier to promote if there was serious prize money involved.

      I’m sure this all sounds a bit goofy, but if it was tried in one area and found to significantly increase the size of the local fan base then, I would imagine, every ones attitude would rapidly shift.

      Oh, and I don’t think it would detract from the stature of the World Champion, if anything it would enhance it.

  12. I bet it will get to a point where there are so many races that the drivers, will start complaining about there being too many races.

    1. People will start complaining but I think it will be team bosses whining about crew burnout… I think drivers will be happy to go racing :)

  13. Pretty long season. The McLarens seems to have closed the gap to the Red Bulls, Ferrari and Mercedes GP will hopefully improve, too. The Turkish GP was incredible, except for the Red Bull Incident…

  14. I agree that they really need to sort the order out in the calendar to make travel more efficient, but I suppose with certain teams they won’t stay out there, they’d keep flying back and forth given half the chance. Unless the “flyaway” races are all back to back with only the odd/rare 2+ week “break” inbetween.

    It’s about creating groupings, I guess. Back to back races for Australia/Singapore/Malaysia. Then a break. Then back to back China/Korea/Japan. Break. India. Break. Middle East/Turkey and so on and so forth. Or something.

  15. Well, if more races mean more money from race organizers 50% of that money goes to the teams that could cover the costs.

    However, there was talk about having to have 2 pitcrews and engineers as so many time away from home would be too big strain on them.
    But in then end teams don’t get a say about where they race (I think), they simply have to show up on the grid at every race.

  16. To get a glimpse of what people who travel at every race have to endure you can read excellent article by Joe Saward on his blog. It isn’t only teams that are affected by big calendar… http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/thoughts-on-the-f1-calendar/

    Also, I think they avoid pairing up Bahrain and Abu Dhabi so they won’t ”steal” people who visit races from each other.

  17. Newnhamlea1
    5th June 2010, 23:09

    In my opinion the calender in 2012 should be like this; Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, Spain, Europe, Canada, USA, Brazil, Britain, France*, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, China, Korea, Japan. I think that is all of them.

    *if it returns

    1. Newnhamlea1
      5th June 2010, 23:22

      Monaco should be after spain.

    2. i like the idea of ending in japan. ;)

  18. This is my 2011 Calender:-

    Abu Dhabi

    1. Noo u have to end at Interlagos!! Why dont the last 3 races be Canada, USA, then Brazil? If the USA get a race that might have a lot of significance it may help the sport gain popularity over there. Plus this way you would avoid the high temperatures Keith mentioned in the article.

      Also I think Abu Dhabi want a race that holds some sort of importance because of the amount of money they have invested. So why not have them start the season, then go Bahrain etc?

      1. I can agree with that. I’d much rather see Abu Dhabi start the season than Bahrain. Frankly, I could do with Bahrain at all…

        1. *could do without

      2. The climate in Texas would probably be idea for a race then, but football season is in full swing at that time and that dominates the sporing landscape in the state at the time. Plus, the weather in Montreal can be a bit on the chilly side at that time of year…..

    2. i’d like to see brno in czech republic, losail in qatar, and marrakech street circuit in morrocco in the future.

      1. Where was France in that list?

      2. Marrakech, from what I’ve heard, was a bit of a shambles even for F2 – parts of the circuit were too tight – so I can’t imagine it ever hosting F1 without a substantial redesign.

        1. They’ve used it at least twice for WTCC now and I have to say it looks like a dreadful circuit utterly unsuited to pretty much any kind of motor racing. It produces very poor races the like of which are not going to find it a new local fan base. A pity, as it would be good to see more international motor racing in Africa.

  19. I’d love it if there were 24 races in a year though I can definitely see the logistical nightmare it would be for the teams. Plus the costs would soar as well. I hate the period of there being no races for a month in August….well August 1st to August 29th)….4 weeks = too long!! (I suppose everyone deserves a holiday though :-) And we need more races only a week apart…. 24 would sort that out!!

    You’re right Keith in that it’s stupid if Bahrain and Abu Dhabi are at each end of the calendar they should definitely move them together. They should also make Interlagos the final race of the year again. It works beautifully as a finale – lovely track, great crowd e.t.c. better than Abu Dhabi…..too sterile!

  20. HounslowBusGarage
    6th June 2010, 0:01

    AUS to open and BRA to close. That takes care of the Southern Hemisphere races, now let’s look at the most Northerly races; well they’re UK and BEL so that’s got to be July. Now let’s group other Euro eaces around there so that Monaco remains in May.
    Early fly aways, what about Singapore and Sepang after AUS? The weather would be right. That would make CHI, JAP and KOR logical for a late summer fly away trio.
    CAN and US would be a logical autumn pairing.
    Well that’s it. Calendar sorted out logically.
    Now, what about lunch?

    1. Totally agree with the fact that Australia should open the season & Brazil to close it.

    2. I think that is the right way about it. Only i am not sure about autumn weather in Canada (bein pretty much north). And would you pair up India between the Abu Dhabi and Bahrain GPs or we could have it as the 4th race on the way to Europe.

  21. Sush Meerkat
    6th June 2010, 0:20

    The increase in races would have more to the with Bernie trying to claw back as much money for himself and CVC than it would for the good of the sport.

    If this increase happens the teams will oppose it due to time constraints for various reasons, cue the FIA tightening up the rules with regards to everything especially upgrading the cars to stop the factories working overtime.

    Bernie will have his wish, he always gets what he wants.

  22. I’ve always said that one way to keep costs down in F1 would be to hold the world championship calendar in a geographical order, with it starting in Australia and moving westwards as the season progressed. This would be beneficial for a couple of reasons,

    1) Australia and Brazil would keep their bookend spots on either end of the calendar
    2) The punishing heat of Malaysia, Turkey and eventually Texas, would be avoided due to the timing, with the European races still being held in the summer.
    3) Costs would be kept low as teams wouldn’t have to be forced to travel back and forth across the world.

    1. But what’s the weather like in Singapore, Japan, and Korea in Spring? And Canada in October will be cold!

      1. If the weather in 2010 is to be relied on, it will be rainy season for Malaysia and Singapore in spring

        1. Even the rainy season in Singapore is as hotter than summer in most temparate countries!

      2. Actually, Montreal in October is not very cold at all. In recent years I was still out in shorts and a t-shirt in the first part of the month. It’s not all glaciers and caribou, you know.

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      6th June 2010, 2:40

      The punishing heat of Malaysia, Turkey and eventually Texas, would be avoided due to the timing, with the European races still being held in the summer.

      Actually, the heat just makes it more challenging for the drivers.

  23. Well, maybe it will be the season with the most grand prix, but I don’t think it will be the season with the most races. During the 50s and the 60s, there were a lot of non-championship races, and a season could have had more than 20 races. Now, there are no more non-championship races, but there twice more grand prix…

  24. You can’t string too many fly away races together due spares etc so you first name the optimum number of races for each length of string and then locate the events on the string. Teams need to have as little logistics done outside the air freighter ferry fleet as they can for costs. Time zones are secondary issues. Air distances don’t matter as much as you think. To and from Australia & Brazil you need intermediate races, but otherwise any old 8 hour hop will do as well as a 3 hour hop will on the flyaways. A bigger issue is the ground haul distance to the tracks and the facilities to consolidate and deconsolidate the loads. The ground distance has to be kept to a minimum on the flyaways. If there was a US race Brazil would shift but there is not much better logistical match with Montreal than Japan with Montreal also a double hop and the time of year considerations. Remember going across the equator you seasons are upside down so while you can match Australia to equatorial Asia it is harder to get a date match to make a string running furter north without getting into weather extremes.

  25. More races will be good, but they have to get the scheduling sorted out. The Bahrain and Abu Dhabi situation is ridiculous. You can understand why they split the Pacific races though, as there are so many of them!

    1. From April through to late September, beginning of October in both Bahrain & Abu Dhabi becomes less than pleasant with temperatures climbing into the high 30’s in April then into the 40’s and 50’s for June, July, August, before descending again later in the year. Night time temperatures also remain high from April through to Sept/Oct.

      So either have these two races one after the other, or they are split to be at either end of the season due to temperature considerations.

      Sort of explains the split in a way as not being too ridiculous ……………….

  26. Well from a teams perspective with costs I’d expect given if we go to 24 races that the cost of TV rights should rise roughly 26% (24/19).

    I suppose the question is how much of the extra revenue generated from these races trickle down to the teams? I know prizemoney for the constructors championship is that a percentage of TV rights, but how long does the current TV rights contract go for? Will the terms of the contract be up for debate before these 24 race seasons start, or will the average income per race drop given the contract for the rights ceases sometime after these 24 races comes in.

    Its funny though as some teams have different agendas. Force India would be craving going to India as Sutil is massive there and it is basically an Indian team but I don’t think they’d be too fussed out Russia. I somehow think not many Indians have migrated to Russia.

  27. Add as many races as you want, but while making the schedules ensure the following

    1. Australia should open
    2. Spain should open the European round
    3. Italy should close the European Round
    4. The last 3 races should be Singapore, Suzuka, Brazil in that order.

    1. But what are your reasons for saying all this? Why should it be like that?

  28. One other thing I forgot. Races like Bahrain and Abu Dhabi and Sepang and Singapore seek to pull in crowds from near surrounds. Both races benefit from being gapped from having more well heeled people coming to 2 races than they would get from being run consecutively. If you have to load up the plane the cost differential between a few hours and 8 hours is nothing. And if you think they could truck between these venues then you have to consider how it screws up the operators of the air freighters because F1 want absolute schedule integrity and don’t want them flying away where they might get delayed coming back again (and thats before you can consider all the air container equipment the teams rely on and the lack of trucks suitable to carry it beyond local areas to next venues).

  29. Prisoner Monkeys
    6th June 2010, 2:07

    With Formula 1 returning to America, I think we also need races in France, Russia and somewhere in Africa (maybe Egypt or South Africa) in order for it to be a truly global championship.

    Why are Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, two races that are reasonably close together, at opposite ends of the calendar?

    I believe they pay extra for the privelige.

    1. A race in Egypt? I doubt that F1 is popular there & it may take some long time to have a race there. But it will be great to have a race track which goes under a Pyramid.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        6th June 2010, 3:09

        The only reasons why I suggested Egypt are because a) it and South Africa are probably the only countries that could afford a race and b) it’s close to Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Turkey, so it would be easy to drop it in without having to add an extra flyaway race like a South African Grand Prix.

        And there is absolutely no way the circuit would go under the pyramids.

        1. Morocco might manage it too. They have a WTCC round after all and quite a bit of foreign investment floating around.

          1. Prisoner Monkeys
            6th June 2010, 14:45

            Yeah, but the Marrakech circuit is rubbish. More chicanes than Imola at its worst.

  30. zandvoort and magny-cours would also be nice

  31. That’s great news for me as I was one of the guy who was praying to have more than 20 races per season.But I do think that they should arrange races that are closer in consecutive weekends like Malaysia & Singapore China & Japan which will help them to save some money.

    But I do dislike the idea of the same country hosting two races like Spain is doing now & in the past Germany used to.

    India is coming next year what’s wrong with France? Renault, Michelin( if they supply tyre for F1 in 2011) with Jean Todt should convince Bernie to arrange a race there which will make 21 races in 2011 which will be great.With Russia & on the hunt I want to see Imola back on track.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      6th June 2010, 3:16

      Imola won’t be coming back anytime soon. It’s a mess; a lot of the surrounds are half-finished. And the kink just after the start line has caused some major problems of late in the shape of massive accidents.

      1. can’t the organizer make modification to the Imola circuit?

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          6th June 2010, 3:25

          Not really. If the cars went in a straight line from the start line to Tamburello, they’d end up grossing the outer boundary of the circuit.

          Besides, most if Imola is chicanes these days.

          1. Yea not much scope for renovations in and around Tamurello/first chicane at Imola. The infamous concrete barrier there is the absolute limit as on the other side of it is a creek.

  32. Prisoner Monkeys
    6th June 2010, 3:15

    This is probably what he 2011 calendar should look like:

    Leg 1: Australia – Singapore – Malaysia – China – Korea – Japan

    Leg 2: Europe – Spain – Monaco – Rome (2012) – Italy – Hungary – Russia (2012) – Germany – Belgium – France (2012) – Great Britain

    Leg 3: Turkey – Abu Dhabi – Bahrain – India

    Leg 4: South Africa (2012) – Canada – Texas (2012) – Brazil

    Drop Europe for 2012 and replace it with South Africa

  33. MouseNightshirt
    6th June 2010, 3:22

    Keith, I don’t see the problem with Bahrain being on the opposite end of the calendar than Abu Dhabi. Starting in Australia is fine, but Bahrain is “on the way” so to speak. It’s an aviation hub, so a two legged flight would stop there anyway therefore it’s not really a pain having it followed by Australia.

    Moving Abu Dhabi before Singapore would be ideal again, using it as a “hub race”.

    Although I can see the problem, I also feel that “tradition” should play a part. Having Japan late on just feels “right”. That said, I’m still not used to having Interlagos so late!

  34. Any scheduling of a GP in Texas is TOUGH, slotting ii in a week behind of ahead of Canada puts it in a hot (34C with records into the 40s most of the month) period of the year. Yes it’s an interesting engineering exercise to make the engine last and the drivers can most likely handle the strains but the fans are what make the race happen and how many rich fans are going to want to bake in the hot, high sun of Texas in June. And if you want to put the race on the schedule the week or 2 before Interlagos there’s an even bigger problem. Sorry but it would be a stretch to bring a race into Texas after August. ALL eyes are on college football and the NFL by then and getting new fans in the seats will be tough. Not sure how NASCAR does it with a race at Texas in November.

    1. if I were an F1 loving Texan I’d put the college football in my Tivo and go watch the race on a Sunday afternoon. I don’t think it should be too much of a problem, since F1 doesn’t directly compete with football – and there’ll be also Americans from other states coming to Austin with the intention of watching F1, not the Longhorns.

      but I do like the idea of “regions”, like most people here have brought up.

  35. arun srini
    6th June 2010, 4:59

    keith, in the caption, its written 2011, i think you meant 2012, more races plz, but yeah better organized to reduce needless travelling..

  36. Logistically F1 is a mess, you have races near each other at different times of the year. I have asked myself why they keep doing this if they complain about cost. Yes I would really like to see a couple more races in North & South America (at least 1 more in the USA and one more in South America; Argentina maybe?). But why are the races not ordered in circular order.Simply start in Bahrain and fly out west to Europe, the Americas, Asia and finish in Abu Dhabi (i chose those start/end points because it is my understanding that they have paid for their position in the calendar). obviously this wont happen because teams like coming back home for upgrades, plus it enables them to quickly supply their cars with recent mods in case of accidents, etc. just putting this out there but maybe the calendar could be used to lower cost in development as well. Allow certain max weight of pieces that can be flown in per race or per continent/region basis.

    Africa should eventually be included too but one problem with many 3rd world countries is at times hard to gauge the amount of spectators as many times most of the population are not in the affording range of the tickets. Just imagine an F1 car blazzing past a running cheetah and living it in the dust…

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      6th June 2010, 5:37

      Yes I would really like to see a couple more races in North & South America (at least 1 more in the USA and one more in South America; Argentina maybe?).

      Why should America get two races? Bernie has demonstrated that the only way for a nation to host two events is in the presence of an immensely popular driver, something America does not have. In fact, they don’t even have one race yet, so why shoud they get two? If any country is going to get a second race once Valencia expires, it’s the UK.

      But why are the races not ordered in circular order.Simply start in Bahrain and fly out west to Europe, the Americas, Asia and finish in Abu Dhabi (i chose those start/end points because it is my understanding that they have paid for their position in the calendar).

      Two reasons:
      1) You can only have so many races in a flyaway leg before it starts becoming logistically impossible for the teams
      2) You need to take into consideration local climate conditions. Having a “round” championship might work, but not if you’re going to have the Canadian Grand Prix in the middle of the Canadian winter. Likewise, races like Monaco have always had a traditional calendar date (ie Monaco is always held in late May).

      Africa should eventually be included too but one problem with many 3rd world countries is at times hard to gauge the amount of spectators as many times most of the population are not in the affording range of the tickets. Just imagine an F1 car blazzing past a running cheetah and living it in the dust…

      That’s why you hold the race in the most develope of Africa’s nations: South Africa or maybe Egypt. Morocco may be in with a shot since they have the aiblity to hold races, hough the Marrakech circuit is inappropriate. And with the massive amounts of money from Sonangol being poured into the likes of Formula 2, Angola is a faint possibility.

      1. Look at the US market and its capacity. its one of the major car markets as well for most car manufaturers, extending more than a single GP might help bring some more into F1 (you could argue its been taken over by china, but the US tends to spend a lot more per car). Also Americans (I am not a USA citizen) tend to be very supportive of “made in america” so also giving it more than one track to test in if someone would want an American team (hence not based in Europe) or for that matter local teams the logistics of the sport will have to change. Giving THE AMERICAS more than 3 races could prove very beneficial to the sport as well.

        Many of the World Championships in Motorsports are mostly based in Europe, obviously due to its strong heritage and support. But it would also be nice for that dominance to change and incorporate a bit more of the world to truly be able to call it a World Championship.

        If you wish to build up a fan base you must also take risk to expand to new markets.

  37. You cant have singapore and malaysia back-to-back, they share the same market. If so, they will kill each other revenue.

    1. You have a point there. Sepang is only a few hours away by car from Singapore.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        6th June 2010, 8:29

        Monaco is only a few hours away from Barcelona by car, but the championship manages to run them back-to-back just fine.

        1. But they certainly do not share the same market, PM.

          1. Pm the popularity of F1 in Monaco & Spain is huge compare to the popularity of F1 in Malaysia & Singapore.If I remember correctly them when the Singapore GP came in 2008 many people thought that Malaysia will be in trouble to bring crowd in their circuit, so far the damage isn’t that bad.

  38. Keith,
    When are the dates due for next years schedule?
    Im planning a trip to Oz next year but would need to know the dates so I can attend the Oz Gp!

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      6th June 2010, 9:35

      The calendar is yet to be released. We probably won’t know until August or September. We didn’t know the 2010 calendar until September 21st last year.

    2. Last year we got our first look at the calendar on September 21st. But a while after that a few of the dates were changed:


  39. I think that the arabian races should be one after another. Because really here in Kuwait we don’t have much fans, but many are willing to go just for bragging rights the same thing is on almost all the arabian gulf countries. But there are some true fans. Also i really do hope that Australia is the first race next year.

  40. Why are Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, two races that are reasonably close together, at opposite ends of the calendar? Would it not make sense to run these races on consecutive weekends to save flying all the way there and back.

    This is a little disingenuous as the Middle East is increasingly a global aviation hub. Much of the transport between continents for F1 has to go through the Middle East anyway, so putting the two Middle Eastern races back-to-back wouldn’t save too much.

    Furthermore, if you were going to have back-to-back races between Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, that would necessitate either flying between the two (not necessarily cost-effective) or routing the freight overland through Saudi Arabia. I don’t know how easy that would be.

    1. Road freighting through Saudi is not easy. Bernie would have to dig deep into his pocket of favours to get the Saudis to make visa applications and processing easy to facilitate the movement of so many people between the two centres.

  41. My 2011 Calendar would go as follows:
    Australia 27 March
    Malaysia 3 April
    Bahrain 17 April
    China 24 April
    Spain 8 May
    Turkey 22 May
    Monaco 5 June
    Canada 19 June
    Europe 3 July
    Britian 10 July
    Germany 24 July
    Hungary 31 July
    Belgium 28 August
    Italy 11 September
    Singapore 25 September
    India 2 October
    Japan 16 October
    S.Korea 23 October
    Brazil 6 November
    Abu Dhabi 13 November

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      6th June 2010, 10:59

      Malaysia in April (Kuala Lumpur) has 22 wet days in that month on average.
      May be good for racing, may be bad.

  42. I totally agree that geographically closer races should be adjacent on the calender.

    Also, some races like Turkish GP should be moved to earlier dates on the calender, prior to all European GPs for instance, because May was still as hot as August this year.

    1. Having looked at the 2011 Calender, it seems that they did read my comment (Turkish GP is moved to earlier on the calender) but did not not get the full idea of this article! :P

  43. Accidental Mick
    6th June 2010, 13:06

    Back in the old days when me and my friend Noah watched F1, teams didn’t HAVE to compete in all GPs.

    If each team had to compete in (say) 20 races and you limit the grid to 20 teams (which some of the teams are asking for, you could put on as many races as you wanted but the cost to the teams would remain the same.

    At the start of the season teams would nominate their 20 races (choosing in sequence of last seasons WDC) and when it came to your turn to nominate, if the grid for one of your choices was full, tough, choose another race.

    This would mix up the grid and have as many teams and venues as you wanted.

    (Someone else will have to do the maths for the number of teams in total verses the number of locations.)

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      6th June 2010, 14:48

      Given the way the suggestion that the new teams could miss up to three races if it meant they would be fully prepared was so poorly received, I don’t think your suggestions would go down too well.

    2. Are you talking about non-championshop GPs, like BRDC International trophy?

  44. Having visited South Africa several times & various other African Countries over a span of 20 years, I can honestly say that ONLY South Africa has the money, expertise & infrastructure to host an “African” GP. Theyhave a good F1 heritage as well and it’s citizens are all F1 fanatics. I’ll be back in SA on Thursday for SWC. Can’t wait, it’s truly an Amazing place.

  45. K. Chandra Shekhar
    6th June 2010, 15:35

    All these have been watching F1 on tv. Eagerly waiting for the 2011 Indian F1 race. Keith please help in selecting the best stand to watch the race.

  46. where is the canadian grand prix on that little map that highlights the provisional 2011 calendar?

    1. It’s right there… in the north-eastern part of that North America thingy.

    2. HounslowBusGarage
      6th June 2010, 20:42

      Not sure if I understand you correctly.
      But on the view of the world underneath the headine ‘2011 F1 race locations’ the Canadian GP marker is in the bit labelled ‘North America’.
      And if you zoom in a couple of times, it points to . . . Montreal.
      Nicht wahr?

  47. F1 should race every 2 and 1 weeks. No more breaks over 3 weeks.

  48. Hehe, Bernie is always talinkg about saving money… and here we are travelling from one corner of the world to another and back again… hrhr

  49. Electrolite
    6th June 2010, 22:22

    I think the car problem needs to be solved before we dismiss the currently ‘boring tracks’ to the calender and start looking for more places. 20+ races? Absolutely. A priority F1 issue at the minute? I’m not sure.

  50. HounslowBusGarage
    6th June 2010, 22:54

    Mmm. But it entirely depends on what you perceive the function of F1 to be.
    It may be a racing series with which to entertain a world audience.
    It may be an income-generation vehicle with which to pay off the massive purchase-derived debts of CVC.
    20 races gives CVC a lower income than 30 races.

  51. Looking at your map, it seems the only places left for Bernie to convince they need an F1 GP are Northern and Southern Africa.
    So come on, lets see your support for a Cairo GP (in front of the Pyramids?) and a Rainbow GP (somewhere in South Africa?), or even a Kenyan GP (under Kilimanjaro?)


    1. FYI Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania.

      I think African countries have much more important things to spend time and money on than Formula 1. Fighting AIDS for one…

    2. What about a Zimbabwe GP with pit straight going under the Victorian waterfalls? That would make a race!

  52. Looking at that map with the pointers, i can’t help but notice that Africa is as dry as its deserts…. tey should re-introduce a race there… makes more sense than in Korea, unless Daewoo is planning to field a team

  53. Flippy mcSeal, jr.
    8th June 2010, 2:50

    What about Kyalami? Or Argentina? What happened to them? Also, something interesting to incorporate into F1 would be Qatar like in MotoGP, Sentul in Indonesia, amd Okyama for the Pacific Gp

  54. If we have 24 races, the last race should be at Le Mans.
    Always wanted to see an F1 race on that track.

  55. Jason Bidrider
    22nd June 2010, 8:47

    Just trying to plan ahead a little on the ticket buying here, but is there any clues yet to when the Sepang race will be held 20th or 27th march or 3rd of April??????? Magic question I know.

    1. No, sorry. Though at this stage it’s hard to see a reason why it would be much different to this year’s date, which was the first Sunday in April.

  56. 24 races in the future then? Very good for me as a fan, but I doubt the teams will agree with it, as it would become extremely expensive, especially for the smaller teams.
    What I’d like to see again in the future, is a race in France, the real home of motor racing! But Bernie seems so keen on Paris that he completely forgot about Le Castellet, for example, a circuit only a few kilometres away from Marseilles.

  57. It would be great if the next season could be finalised earlier! They seem to forget that fans need to book flights quickly!! We were thinking of the Turkish GP in 2011 and when I checked out the only company which flies from Dublin (there are no flights from Belfast!) there were only 9 seats left on the flight for the provisional dates at the end of May! We had to book them just in case they sell out but if the date changes we lose our money!! Please, please, please get the dates sorted quicker and please let the Turkish GP stay at the end of May!!!

  58. I agree , we want to book our ticket to Malaysia but can’t as there are not dates yet. BIG BOO!!!

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