Why F1 needs to sort it’s calendar

28 Mar

This is now the fifth time i’ve tried to write this article, and that’s for a very good reason. I’ve only just figured out where I really stand on this, and I am starting to lean towards reverting to the old style of F1 Calendar management. This is my ever so slightly biased and in no way official reasoning as to why.

After spending about 20 minutes scouring the previous seasons on Wikipedia, I’ve decided to compare this season’s calendar to that of 2005’s, 1) because it’s recent enough for me to have watched it, but more importantly 2) Like this season, that season had 19 races, so it’s perfect for comparison!

In 2005 the season ended on the 16th of October, whereas in 2013 the season will finish on the 24th of November, so that makes this season end 39 days later than in 2005. Of course, the 2013 season does start 11 days later than 2005, but that still means it’s a whole 4 WEEKS longer. 4 weeks! What’s the point in that? It didn’t hurt anyone in 2005 to have a short calendar, and it helps keep the audience (Especially those new to the sport) interested. You don’t see the Premier League taking a 4 week break in the middle of the season do you?

Of course, the extra 4 weeks are due to many factors, many of them in my view unnecessary. At this very moment, we are having a 3 week break due to the Easter holidays, which is fair enough. That is until you realise Easter Sunday is on the 31st of March. The Chinese GP isn’t until the 14th of April. Seriously? Did we really need to wait two weeks after Easter for the next GP? Why not shorten it by a week, and have it on the 7th instead, it’s not going to kill anyone.

My next problem is the 3 week break between Bahrain and Spain. In fairness 2005 had a 3 week break between Bahrain and San Marino, but then in 2005 there were only 1 week breaks between quite a few of the European races, something which doesn’t happen often in 2013. There is a 3 week gap between Germany and Hungary for example, which again really isn’t necessary. There is no good reason to stick a 3 week gap in the middle of July.

So kick one of the weeks off Germany/Hungary. Thinking about it now, the 3 weeks between Spain and Bahrain can stay, as it’s the first race going into Europe. No, instead kick one of the weeks off of the gap between Canada and Silverstone. If 2005 could manage a 2 week gap between Germany and Canada then so can we with Canada/Silverstone. 

Finally, I have a real problem with the 4 week summer break. Whilst I agree to the need of a summer break, 4 weeks is a bit extensive. I know 2 of those weeks are spent away from the factory, but that’s still means you have two weeks working on your car between European races. 2 Weeks off isn’t a bad idea, but you only need 1 week in the factory, so lets make it a 3 week break.

Now if you look back over that, then you’ll see i’ve knocked a grand total of 4 weeks off of the calendar, which means, if implemented, this season would have had the exact same length as it did in 2005. It would have finished on October the 27th, 11 days after 2005’s finished. Job done.

Now there is a reason behind my madness. I really don’t like to see teams sacrifice the end of their season to start work on next season’s car, when they’re going to do the exact same thing the season after. It makes you wonder what it’s all for. In 2008, after the first 2 races were a disaster, Ross Brawn told Honda to forget about that year’s car and to put all effort into 2009’s one. Honda may have pulled out, but the 2009 Brawn (Which was the Honda adapted to Mercedes engines) was easily the best car on the grid for the first half of the season. Mclaren on the other hand, were so intent on winning the 2008 drivers title that they delayed work on the 2009 car. Hamilton won the WC, and the 2009 car was pretty awful. They caught up again, but it was awful at the start of the season. 

Now nobody (Apart from Ferrari fans) would have wanted to see Mclaren stop development on 08’s car to work on 09’s, but the fact is they lost the WC in 09 before 08 had even finished. Why should Mclaren be penalised for actually wanting to win a championship, whilst everyone else starts work before them. Ferrari too. They may have lost in 08, but they pushed right to the end, and so ended up with an average car in 09.

And that’s it, i’m done. Somebody best read this, I didn’t waste an hour and a half of my time for nothing! Actually I probably did, but oh well, life goes on. Well, that’s the idea.

 

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