Daniel Ricciardo warns Formula 1 it needs to ‘cut time’ as calendar grows

The calendar is set to go up to 24 races next season, and could even expand further in years to come.

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has conceded that he would ideally like to see a few less races on the calendar moving forward due to the strain everyone is under.

It can often be underappreciated the effort the teams have to go through to pack up their motorhomes, take them to the next venue, and exert a lot of effort over a gruelling number of hours to set up for the next one.

They also have to transport the cars and all of the equipment needed to power them from country to country, and doing that 24 times over a nine-month period every year is difficult.

But 24 is the number of races that Formula 1 is aiming for next season amid the arrival of some new and returning races.

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The pinnacle of motorsport will race in Vegas for the first time as it joins Miami and Austin on the list of American races, while Qatar is also set to make its return having filled in for a round last year.

In years to come, a second race in Saudi Arabia is possible, as well as a return to Asia and an expansion of the market in South America.

South Africa is reportedly close to an agreement for next season that would likely see Spa Francorchamps dropped, and Monaco, France and Mexico are all out of contract this year too.

The intense travelling, the long hours and the tight schedules are difficult to meet in the current climate, so 24 grand prix next year will be a brand-new challenge.

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Ricciardo reckons that 18 is a good number of races to have, and more than that is simply too tiring for everyone.

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“I think like around that 18 mark is a good number,” he told Speedcafe.com.

“It’s also the stuff, like, the race weekend are… they’re four, sometimes five day weekends, and then, if you’ve got those back-to-back, or triple-headers, that’s what’s tiring.”

If F1 is to go up to 24 races per season, the Austrian suggests restructuring the weekend to make that more sustainable for everyone.

“I think we could race 24 times [a year] and be okay, but the week has to look different to be able to achieve that properly,” explained Ricciardo.

“The schedules need to change, and the lead up needs to change, but it’s hard when the sport’s growing and you’re getting more sponsors and all the rest of it, it’s hard to then cut time.”

Ricciardo has scored points four times for McLaren this season, and sits 12th in the Drivers’ Standings, so he will be aiming for a strong final nine races of 2022.