McLaren CEO Zak Brown suggests a rotational Formula 1 calendar may help to take the pressure of teams, in what is already a “brutal schedule.”
McLaren CEO Zak Brown has long been a vocal advocate for the health and wellbeing of his team. Especially when it comes to them spending extended periods of time away from home.
In what is becoming an ever-demanding sport, the days of a ten-race championship are long gone. As the years go on, the calendar seems to grow with more and more races spread across the globe.
Which is great if you are a fan of F1. But maybe not so great if you’re one of the many employees embedded with an F1 team.
Brown says a rotational schedule may be the way to go to ensure racing becomes sustainable into the future.
“I’d like to get to a place where we are rotating some races,” Brown told Motorsport.com. “I’m a big believer that if a good country wants a grand prix, that’s a great thing. I think the more countries we race in, the better.
“That being said, I think there’s two things to consider with the size of the schedule. There’s first and foremost is your people. It’s a brutal schedule.
“And then the other is the scarcity of the races. If you look at NFL, there are I think 16 regular season games, and three or four play-offs. The Olympics is massively popular, that’s every four years, as is the World Cup.
“We know some grands prix tail off over time, and so actually if you didn’t make it an annual thing, but every two years, would some of those grands prix be actually more sustainable because you don’t have the burn-out?”
The road ahead
A potential fix for the schedule put forward by Brown was to include a combination of both fixed races. Which the calendar would have locked in each year. With the remainder of races set to rotate on a year-by-year basis.
“In our ideal world, you would do 20 grand prix per year,” Brown continued. “Maybe there are 25 markets, and maybe 15 of those are fixed events, because there is a commercial reality of this sport. You do have to balance all of the various interests, and we do need to get the sport to add up.
“I’d like to see there be a day where we’re in 25 markets, 15 core grands prix, and 10 other races – five of them are one year, and then five the next year.
“You might create more sustainable venues in some of those instances because people will go, ‘oh, it’s only around every two years, so I don’t want to miss it next year’.”