Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

The 2011 calendar - Too much of a good thing? // Twenty races are on the schedule for nest year's F1 season

Published by Christine

Mark Webber makes the most of a beautiful day in Brazil in 2009

The World Motorsport Council have been busy today, discussing all manner of important topics such as Ferrari's team orders and the potential for a 13th team in 2011 (no-one met the requirements, apparently). With that being the case, the most striking piece of news filtering out of Paris comes in the form of an approved 2011 calendar.

It's enormous.

DateRace
March 13Bahrain
March 27Australia
April 10Malaysia
April 17China
May 8Turkey
May 22Spain
May 29Monaco
June 12Canada
June 26Europe
July 10Britain
July 24Germany
July 31Hungary
August 28Belgium
September 11Italy
September 25Singapore
October 9Japan
October 16Korea
October 30India * subject to FIA approval
November 13Abu Dhabi
November 27Brazil

We've talked plenty of times before about our dislike of the calendar creeping ever bigger. The off-season is incredibly important in making the sport what it is, and at the moment it has been whittled down to three months, with at least one of those taken up with pre-season testing.

The summer break is still intact, but the fly-away races are increasing - the first five and the final six races are all away from home. The only good news I can see on that calendar is the fact that Brazil has been given the season finale spot back. I don't know the reasoning behind this but can only assume someone within the FIA has seen sense. If only they could sort the start of the calendar out as well, things would be heading in the right direction.

With 20 races, we're looking at a long time spent out on the road for the teams. They have had to whittle their personnel down to a crazy minimum as it is, and I remember one of the early season podcasts from a team (possibly Force India) bemoaning this fact. The less staff there are, the more work and hours they have to put in, and that's showing. It's not a coincidence that everyone involved in F1 was desperate for the summer break this year, and the silence throughout those vacation weeks was telling. This year has already been a strain on everyone in the paddock, and we're nowhere near finished yet.

Some of the reaction on Twitter (albeit from the media and not the teams), shows some initial dismay at the news:

2011 is going to be one very long season on the road

5LiveF1 5LiveF1

It ends with six races outside Europe, which is going to be even more painful than this year...

adamcooperf1 adamcooperf1

I'd write a report on the reaction from my wife to an increased calendar, but it wouldn't be suited for all audiences

EliGP EliGP

It's easy to sit and home and chant for more races, but it's a lot of work for those on the ground. I'm exhausted at the idea of it, and all I do is type some stuff into the Factbyte Factbox when I feel like it. What do you think? Is this calendar pushing it a bit far? Or are more races better?