Ex-F1 boss insists 30-race calendars are more than possible

The 2024 F1 season will see a record number of 24 races as Liberty Media grows the sport


Liberty Media seems to be trying to get Max Verstappen to retire these days as they constantly increase the number of races on the Formula 1 calendar despite his warnings, but an ex-F1 team principal suggests that the number could feasibly rise to a whopping 30 Sundays in the future.

Plenty of drivers have warned of the impact of the ever growing schedule, not just on themselves but also the mechanics and other personnel within their teams. The situation has worsened so much that the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) are even trying to liaison with the FIA to intervene.

The 24 races and six Sprint Races in the current season totals 30 racing events, which is around double the amount of races Michael Schumacher would have had to do when he won his sixth title in 2003 but Otmar Szafnauer, formerly team boss of Aston Martin and Alpine, thinks the sport still has room to grow.

“For me, if you plan everything in the right way, I think 25 to 30 is the right number of races,” Szafnauer said to Reuters. “If you get to 30, you need to have two teams in each team, and each one competes in 15 races.

“It would be an easier life than the current one. I understand what Liberty Media is doing, it’s the right thing for the sport.”

Max Verstappen of Red Bull leads the field at the start of 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen of Red Bull leads the field at the start of 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1’s blockbuster calendar in 2024: How many miles will they travel?

The Grand Circus will tour 20 countries around the world in the mammoth calendar, which began at the Bahrain International Circuit in the Middle-East and will end at the Yas Marina Circuit, also in the Middle-East.

The only habitable continent that F1 will not race in is Africa, although there have been discussions in recent years to add a race at Kyalami in South Africa which previously hosted 31 events between 1934-1985, although this has not materialised.

Nonetheless, F1 will travel an astonishing 120,120.825km (74369.62 miles), that’s enough to lap the planet approximately five times, something Verstappen probably could do based on his current form…

Here’s how it’s broken down, rounded up or down to the nearest whole:

FromToFlight (Mi)Flight (km)Drive (Mi)Drive (km)
BahrainSaudi Arabia77912548841423
Saudi ArabiaAustralia795612804
BrazilLas Vegas60829788
Las VegasQatar808913018
QatarAbu Dhabi214345344553
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