FEBRUARY 29, 2024

Top F1 drivers slam massive 2024 calendar

Three top Formula 1 stars have hit out at the ever-lengthening annual race calendar, which has swollen to an all-time record of 24 grands prix for 2024.

Fernando Alonso, Abu Dhabi GP 2023
© Red Bull

Fernando Alonso, already 42 and linked with a sensational move to Mercedes for 2025, says he won't even consider talks with teams until he has decided if I want to continue to compete or not.

I feel great but it's a demanding calendar, he is quoted by El Mundo Deportivo newspaper as saying. "In 2026 there will also be new regulations that will be tempting or not.

I'll take a few races to decide.

When Alonso made his 2001 debut, there were just 17 races - and he points the finger at Liberty Media, the owner of the sport since 2017, for taking the number well above the limit since then.

"I remember they said that 20-21 races was going to be the limit. Now we have 24, which is not sustainable for anyone. I think even Max (Verstappen) thinks the season is long. Now imagine that for the rest of us, in the second half of the year, we cannot fight for anything.

If someone does not understand this it will end up being negative for the sport, said the Spaniard.

Indeed, Verstappen agrees with Alonso that, at 24 races this year, the sport is now way above the limit.

I'm young but I'm not going to spend ten more years doing 24 races a year, the Dutchman declared. "We have to think about quality and not quantity.

There is a moment in which you have to evaluate your quality of life, said Verstappen. My contract expires in 2028, when I will be 31. I have no plans for the period after that.

Meanwhile, Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz admits F1 is taking risks with races week after week after week, because he thinks the pinnacle of motorsport should be exclusive.