Guenther Steiner backs the idea of Stefano Domenicali to club F1 races in a regional formation as much as possible in current times.
During the Spanish GP weekend, there was talk of regionalising races for 2023 and beyond to lessen the load of traveling. The 2022 F1 season started with Bahrain and was followed Saudi Arabia, which was a logical route. There was some consternation regarding having the Australian GP as a sole fly away, but COVID-19 has seemingly made a temporary situation as Melbourne is traditionally the opener.
It was followed by Emilia Romagna in Europe and then they went to the USA for the inaugural Miami GP before returning back to Europe for Spain and Monaco. Now, Azerbaijan happens this week followed by a big trip to Canada a week later. Looking at logistically, it does not make sense with the up and down travel.
Discussions are on behind the scenes about a possible calendar shuffle which will focus on regional cluster without affecting any grand prix sales. Haas’ Steiner backs F1 chief Stefano Domenicali to make the correct decision going forward and notes that he is working hard to solve the travel trouble amid financial and environmental impact.
“The challenges are that you go from one continent to another, it’s a long trip and the team is working very hard to get it all done,” said Stenier. “It’s just down to having a good team around and working hard but it’s a challenge as they only have a few days to get set-up again and get going again for the next race”.
“If you have any damage on the car, it gets more difficult so we’re hoping to not have any damage in Baku. On the plans for next season, it would be great if we can combine the races regionally. I know that Stefano is working very hard on that one and it will go in the right direction next year,” summed up Steiner.
With Miami as a stand alone and looking at the calendar, it might have even made good business sense to pair that with Canada as back to back races. And likewise other races could be clubbed together as well, if not all of them but at least pair of them. Some races like Monaco might lose their traditional slot in May but at the same time to keep all European races together as much as possible would help all 10 Constructors.
Red Bull chief Christian Horner agreed to such notion. “I think if you look at the calendar, it makes sense to group some of the races together,” he said to media. “Whether it’s some of the American races, some of the Asian races, Europe, obviously. Some of the calendar this year when you look at the geographics of it, Azerbaijan to Montreal, going to Australia for a weekend, it’s about as expensive as you could make it”.
“So I think Stefano is sympathetic to that, but of course, he’s got many challenges with the different promoters to get a calendar that you want,” summed up Horner. It is early now to understand how they will club races regionally but they only need few tweaks to make it happen while in agreement with the promoters.
In the early to mid 1980’s Grands Prix were grouped together. It was not unusual to see Canada followed by the US East Grand Prix at Watkins Glen and 1984 saw Detroit, Canada and Dallas run in close proximity. It should not be too hard to organise.