Verstappen calls for F1 Asia triple-header-Xinhua

Verstappen calls for F1 Asia triple-header

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-07 11:46:30

by F1 correspondent Michael Butterworth

SUZUKA, Japan, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Reigning Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen said the sport's three Asian races should be put back-to-back in an effort to streamline the racing calendar.

Verstappen was speaking at the Japanese Grand Prix, which has this year moved from its usual September slot to April, in between the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Running these three races together means much of F1's freight can now travel directly from Australia to Japan and then to China, reducing the time, cost and emissions of shipping.

However, there remains a week gap between each of those three races, meaning most of the sport's travelling personnel will return home to Europe in between each event.

Verstappen suggested that Grands Prix in China and Japan should instead be run on consecutive weekends together with the Singapore Grand Prix, which takes place in September.

"It makes more sense, I think, around this time of the year to be here [in Japan] when we anyway have Australia, then now here, Suzuka, and then China," Verstappen told media, including Xinhua.

"The only [other] thing, maybe, is putting Suzuka and China back-to-back will be a good idea for the future, and then maybe also add in Singapore."

In recent years, F1 has spoken of the need to reduce travel between each of the sport's 24 Grands Prix, with a view to both lowering F1's carbon footprint and easing the strain on travelling personnel.

Ideally, this would see several races run on consecutive weekends based on either geographical vicinity or a logical air connection, meaning travelling personnel would make only one long-haul journey for two or sometimes three Grands Prix.

However, there remain several seemingly obvious connections on the F1 calendar that have not been made, either for contractual or climatic reasons.

The Miami Grand Prix takes place in May, followed by two races in Europe, with personnel then returning to North America for the Canadian Grand Prix in June.

Later in the year, a triple-header of Texas, Mexico and Sao Paulo follows, before teams return home only to come back to America again two weeks later for the Las Vegas Grand Prix on November 23.

Similarly, while races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were run back-to-back for the opening two rounds of 2024, F1 then returns to the Middle East at the end of the year for the Qatar and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix, with the Abu Dhabi race contractually obliged to feature as the season finale.