Honda website
Honda website

AUGUST 7, 2006

Thoughts on the F1 calendar

There is much speculation about the F1 calendar at the moment with odd announcements from Australia and Bahrain about the dates of the first three races. Such leaks are usually frowned upon. The timing of the races is also decidedly strange and seems to make no sense unless one sees it as part of a negotiating process.

Clearly teams do not want to go out to Australia for a race on March 18 and then send everyone back to Europe because the next race is not until April 7 in Malaysia. And then there would be a mad rush to get everyone and everything to Bahrain a week later. This is going to expensive and difficult.

There is, of course, a solution to the problem that we expect to see being proposed with a Pacific Grand Prix at Suzuka being slotted in on March 25. This would an extra race for the teams but would pay them money and would make the Australian trip much more cost-effective. The teams have said that they do not want four flyaway races at the start of the year but inevitably they will conclude that this makes more sense than the current arrangement.

Once they have agreed in principle to having four flyaway races at the start of the year, it is the work of a moment to move the whole championship forward by two weeks so that it starts on a more sensible date, such as March 4 with Suzuka on March 11, Malaysia on March 25 and Bahrain on April 1. This would then give the teams time to get things back to Europe for the traditional start of the European season in Imola on April 22.