Christian Horner unhappy with number of F1 races: It’s brutal

Formula 1 have a record-breaking 23 races in 2023 which Christian Horner thinks is the limit

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Christian Horner believes 23 races is the upper limit of what teams are capable of operating as Formula 1 continue to add more events to the calendar.

The calendar has been criticised for several reasons, such as scheduling not being perceived to be environmentally friendly, and more races being added in countries that are criticised for their human rights records.

There are also more triple and double-headers which have caused logistical issues due to the tight turnarounds.

“I think for me, 23 is the top end,” Horner told the Financial Times. “I mean we’re just about to go into a triple header off the back of a double header.

“We’ve just gone from Azerbaijan to Miami and then we come back and three in Europe. It’s brutal, that travel schedule.

“I think you get to a point where, you know, 23 Sundays a year, for people to go and take two hours out of their Sunday afternoon or evening.

“It’s a big commitment to follow a whole season, I think. So I think that’s enough.”

Historic v new F1 tracks

The Red Bull team principal noted F1’s ambitions are clashing with the desire to retain the historical tracks, such as SpaFrancorchamps and Monza.

“They play the same trick every year,” Horner explained. “He [Stefano Domenicalli] said, ‘We can’t lose Monaco, we can’t lose Monza, we can’t lose Silverstone’,

“And then he says, ‘You’ve heard about Las Vegas.’ Okay, we’ll go to Vegas. ‘What about Miami?’ Yeah, alright we’ll go there too.

“And they just keep coming up with great venues and great races, and it’s difficult to say no, but you do reach a point where you wonder where you get oversaturation and 23 is an insane amount of racing and mileage that we have to cover in a season.”

F1‘s calendar has significantly increased since 2009, which featured 17 races compared to 23 this year, plus six sprints.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 11, 2022 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Some tracks have slipped off the calendar such as Hockenheim in Germany, whilst others such as Silverstone, Monza and Spa have all faced the risk of being dropped due to rising costs and more lucrative offers elsewhere.

Max Verstappen has already alluded to moving on from the sport if the number of races continue to increase.

Horner feels existing venues should be prioritised rather than just expanding the calendar.

“I think it’s better to have competition for the existing venues than to just keep adding more and more because you do get to a breaking point which I don’t feel we’re that far from,” he concluded.

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