The Formula 1 calendar for 2024 has been confirmed with a record-breaking 24 races, including the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix in November. However, there have been some changes, as the return of Shanghai’s Chinese Grand Prix has been canceled due to China’s ongoing COVID-19 policy, and the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola was called off due to severe flooding. These cancellations bring the total number of races down to 22 for the upcoming season.
Despite the changes, discussions are underway to extend the contract for the Belgian Grand Prix, as plans to return to South Africa for a race faltered for the second year in a row. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali expressed the desire to have 24 races next year, stating that it’s the right number for the market and strikes a balance between logistics and the well-being of the personnel involved. Domenicali believes that stability at 24 races per season should be targeted for the long term.
Competition for calendar slots has intensified as F1‘s popularity continues to grow. Efforts are being made to bring the Spanish Grand Prix to the streets of Madrid, and discussions are ongoing regarding the possibility of rotating European rounds. Domenicali acknowledged Madrid’s interest but emphasized that no decision has been made yet. He expressed satisfaction with Barcelona’s handling of the future and hopes that it will prompt improvements at the circuit.
Rotating venues, while not favored by organizers of the Dutch and Belgian rounds, remain on the table as a long-term solution. Domenicali mentioned that talks are underway with certain European venues to explore this option further, and a formal clarification is expected in the next two years.
The increased competition among venues has also prompted the need for infrastructure improvements. Domenicali pointed to the example of Spa-Francorchamps, which recently underwent refurbishment to enhance the fan experience. He emphasized the importance of historical races adapting to the changing needs of fans, as failure to do so could diminish their historical significance. Domenicali commended Belgium’s proactive response to the possibility of being removed from the calendar and praised their investment in infrastructure to meet fan expectations.
Overall, the 2024 F1 calendar is set to feature an exciting lineup of races, with efforts being made to accommodate new venues and enhance existing ones. The aim is to strike a balance between the demands of the sport, logistical challenges, and fan experience, ensuring the continued growth and success of Formula 1.