As if the planned increase in the Formula 1 calendar to 25 races wasn’t challenging enough, F1 boss Stefano Domenicali is already tackling the next revolution. For 2024, among other things, the traditional Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka is to be brought forward from October to the end of March. The motivation behind the considerations is that the premier class of motorsport wants to further improve its CO2 balance.
The Japanese Grand Prix in October: For many Formula 1 fans worldwide, this is one of the last remaining fixtures on the racing calendar. In the shadow of the Ferris wheel, some dramatic world championship decisions have been made since 1987 – including Michael Schumacher’s first world championship title in the Ferrari 2000.
But this tradition could end as early as next year. According to a report by “grandprix.com”, the future Japanese Grand Prix should rise on the last weekend in March – at least according to Stefano Domenicali’s ideas.
Calendar revolution in Formula 1: This is how Stefano Domenicali plans
The Formula 1 boss is therefore planning a comprehensive overhaul of the racing calendar in order to improve the CO2 balance of the racing class. Domenicali’s goal is a regionally oriented calendar that includes as many races in the same region in quick succession as possible. Domenicali presented corresponding plans last weekend in Melbourne.
The Japanese Grand Prix could then rise on March 31st. On March 17th and 24th, Formula 1 would stop in Australia and China. The season opener is scheduled for March 3 in Saudi Arabia. Tests are scheduled to take place in Bahrain from February 22nd to 24th.
With the races in Australia, China and Japan, the premier class would also close the Ramadan gap: The religious festival runs from March 10th to April 9th. During this time, no races in Muslim countries are allowed to rise.
Calendar revolution in Formula 1: That speaks against it
How sensible this plan really is remains to be seen. The flight between Melbourne and Shanghai takes just over ten hours, the temperatures between these two cities fluctuate by almost 10 degrees Celsius in March. That should not only pose an immense challenge for the Formula 1 teams, but also for tire manufacturer Pirelli.
In addition, it is usually very wet and cold in Japan at this time of year. Moving to Singapore would make more sense. But the promoters of the night race have already made it clear that they don’t want to give up their late-summer spot on the racing calendar.
“We’ve had the race since 2008 at the end of September, which has created a routine for those who attend the race. If we change that, we could lose some of our regular ticket buyers. So I told Stefano I didn’t want that change,” said Colin Syn in Melbourne.