The 2023 Formula 1 calendar is a spectacle of speed, adrenaline, and global reach. However, it also represents a glaring inefficiency in terms of distance, time, money, and sustainability.

The current calendar, with its total straight-line flight distance of approx. 132.321 km (82.220 miles), is a logistical nightmare and a sustainability disaster. In this article, we will dissect the current calendar and propose an optimized version that could save significant time, money, fuel, and reduce CO² emissions.

The Current Calendar: A Logistical Nightmare

The current calendar starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix and ends with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (only 816 km apart by car), covering a total of 23 races. The total straight-line flight distance between these venues is a staggering 132,321 km. This means that teams, equipment, and personnel are flying over 3 times around the world resulting in unnecessary travel and increased costs.

For instance, after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the Jeddah Street Circuit, the teams flew 12.800 km to the Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit. Then, they flew another 12.987 km to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku street circuit. This back-and-forth pattern continues throughout the season, with teams flying thousands of kilometers between races, often crossing multiple time zones.

This not only results in increased costs for teams but also has a significant environmental impact. The CO² emissions from these flights are substantial, contributing to the global climate crisis.

Below you can see the current 2023 calendar with the straight line distances between the next venue.

Current 2023 F1 Calendar

No. Race Circuit Distance (km)
1 Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain International Circuit
2 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Jeddah Street Circuit 1.273
3 Australian Grand Prix Albert Park Circuit 12.800
4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Baku street circuit 12.987
5 Miami Grand Prix Miami International Autodrome 11.029
6 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Autodromo Imola 8.183
7 Monaco Grand Prix Monaco Circuit 350
8 Spanish Grand Prix Catalunya Circuit 503
9 Canadian Grand Prix Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 5.897
10 Austrian Grand Prix Red Bull Ring 6.395
11 British Grand Prix Silverstone Circuit 1.259
12 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring 1.530
13 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps Circuit 1.018
14 Dutch Grand Prix Circuit Zandvoort 235
15 Italian Grand Prix Autodromo Nazionale Monza 830
16 Singapore Grand Prix Singapore Circuit 10.261
17 Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka Circuit 5.041
18 Qatar Grand Prix Losail International Circuit 8.096
19 USA Grand Prix Circuit of The Americas 13.025
20 Mexico Grand Prix Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez 1.213
21 Brazilian Grand Prix Autodromo Interlagos 7.432
22 Las Vegas Grand Prix Las Vegas Street Circuit 9.782
23 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina Circuit 13.182

The Optimized Calendar: A Case for Efficiency and Sustainability

The optimized calendar we propose significantly reduces the total straight-line flight distance to 49,626 km (30,836 miles), less than half of the current distance. The races are arranged in a way that minimizes travel between venues, resulting in significant savings in time, money, and fuel.

The optimized calendar starts with the Australian Grand Prix and ends with the Brazilian Grand Prix. The longest flight is between the Mexco Grand Prix from Mexico-City to the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo, a distance of 7,432 km (4,618 miles). This is significantly less than the longest flight in the current calendar, which is 13,182 km  (8,191 miles) between the Las Vegas Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In fact the current calendar has 4 flights of this similar length.

Optimized 2023 F1 Calendar

No. Race Circuit Distance (km)
1 Australian Grand Prix Albert Park Circuit
2 Singapore Grand Prix Singapore Circuit 6.056
3 Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka Circuit 5.041
4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Baku street circuit 7.342
5 Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain International Circuit 1.574
6 Qatar Grand Prix Losail International Circuit 133
7 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina Circuit 303
8 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Jeddah Street Circuit 1.588
9 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring 3.408
10 Austrian Grand Prix Red Bull Ring 321
11 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Autodromo Imola 397
12 Italian Grand Prix Autodromo Nazionale Monza 236
13 Monaco Grand Prix Monaco Circuit 253
14 Spanish Grand Prix Catalunya Circuit 503
15 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps Circuit 1.049
16 Dutch Grand Prix Circuit Zandvoort 235
17 British Grand Prix Silverstone Circuit 380
18 Canadian Grand Prix Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 5.137
19 Miami Grand Prix Miami International Autodrome 2.273
20 USA Grand Prix Circuit of The Americas 1.792
21 Las Vegas Grand Prix Las Vegas Street Circuit 1.743
22 Mexico Grand Prix Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez 2.430
23 Brazilian Grand Prix Autodromo Interlagos 7.432

The Savings: Time, Money, Fuel and CO² Reduction

By reducing the total straight-line flight distance by 82,695 km, the optimized calendar could result in significant savings. Assuming an average speed of 900 km/h for the cargo planes used to transport equipment and personnel, the total flight time would be reduced by approximately 92 hours for one plane. This is almost 4 days of flying and would not only save time but also reduce the costs associated with crew hours, aircraft usage, and maintenance.

The Savings: Time, Money, Fuel and CO² Reduction

The Savings: Time, Money, Fuel and CO² Reduction

In terms of fuel savings, assuming an average fuel consumption of 14,400 liters per hour for a Boeing 747-400F, the most commonly used cargo plane in F1, the optimized calendar could save approximately 1,324,800 liters of jet fuel. This would not only result in significant cost savings but also reduce CO² emissions by approximately 3,338,416 kg, or 3,338 metric tons, assuming that the combustion of one liter of jet fuel produces 2.52 kg of CO².

The financial savings are also substantial. Assuming an average jet fuel price of $2 per liter, the reduction in fuel consumption would result in savings of approximately $2,649,600 (€ 1.234.078,-). This does not take into account the potential savings in terms of reduced wear and tear on aircraft and equipment, lower personnel costs, and other associated logistics costs.

Don't forget these numbers refer to only one plane. DHL uses 6 to 7 planes only for the F1 cargo. That's without flying the personnel of the FIA and F1 teams around the Globe. Furthermore the optimized calendar not only reduces the total straight-line flight distance but also opens up the possibility for use trucks for ground transportation. This could result in even greater savings in time, money, and fuel, and significantly reduce the environmental impact of the F1 calendar. It's a clear demonstration of how efficiency and sustainability can go hand in hand in the world of Formula 1.

Health and Safety concerns

The extensive travel and frequent crossing of time zones in the current F1 calendar can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of the people involved, including F1 drivers, team members, and other personnel.

One of the most common health issues associated with frequent travel and crossing time zones is jet lag. Jet lag occurs when your body's internal clock, or circadian rhythm, is disrupted by travelling across multiple time zones. Symptoms can include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, disturbed sleep, changes in mood, and gastrointestinal problems.

The absurdity of the 2023 F1 Calendar: A case for sustainability and efficiency

Nyck de Vries talks with Fernando Alonso on the drivers parade prior to the 2023 F1 Grand Prix of Monaco

For F1 drivers, who need to be in peak physical and mental condition to perform at their best, jet lag can be particularly problematic. It can affect their sleep patterns, energy levels, and cognitive performance, all of which are crucial for their performance on the track.

In addition to jet lag, frequent travel can also increase the risk of other health issues. Long-haul flights can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition where blood clots form in the deep veins of the body, usually in the legs. Dehydration is also a common issue during long flights due to the dry air in the cabin.

The constant travel can also put a strain on mental health. Being away from home for extended periods can lead to feelings of isolation and homesickness. The demanding schedule can also lead to stress and burnout.

In the optimized calendar, by reducing the total travel distance and arranging the races in a way that minimizes crossing of time zones, these health risks could be significantly reduced. This could lead to improved well-being and performance of the drivers and team members, further enhancing the benefits of an optimized F1 calendar.


The optimization of the F1 calendar presents a compelling case for a more sustainable and efficient approach to organizing the F1 season. The potential savings in terms of time, money, and CO² emissions are significant, and such an approach aligns with the growing emphasis on sustainability in the sport. While there are undoubtedly other factors to consider, such as race scheduling, local climates, and contractual obligations, the potential benefits of an optimized calendar are too substantial to ignore.

The sport of Formula 1 is no stranger to innovation and adaptation. From the introduction of hybrid power units to the ongoing research into sustainable fuels, F1 has consistently shown a willingness to embrace change for the betterment of the sport and the environment. The optimization of the F1 calendar represents another opportunity for the sport to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and efficiency.

While the thrill of the race, the roar of the engines, and the skill of the drivers are what draw us to Formula 1, the sport's future will be defined not just by what happens on the track, but also by how it adapts to the challenges of the modern world. An optimized calendar, with its potential for significant savings in time, money, and CO² emissions, is a step in the right direction.

In the end, the goal is to ensure that the sport we love continues to thrill and excite, while also playing its part in creating a more sustainable future. The optimized F1 calendar is a testament to the fact that with careful planning and consideration, we can enjoy the adrenaline rush of F1 racing while also being mindful of the beautiful planet we live on.

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31 F1 Fan comments on “The absurdity of the 2023 F1 Calendar: A case for sustainability and efficiency

  1. Nobodysperfect

    So they spoil 1,324,800 liters fuel a year on one plane, because of the crapy schedule and maybe spiil 10 times more, 13.4 milj. liters, because they probably need 10 planes? And we lost the V10V8 sound for those heavy hybrirds, because of their amazing fuel economy which saves 30 liters a race x 20 cars x 23 races = 13.800 liters? That's 0,1% of the spoiled plane fuel! Hahaha, talking about bad priorities...

  2. smokey

    A well researched and written item. The only part I disagree with is the reference to Formula 1 being a sport. It is no longer a sport, it is a business making big returns for the greedy owners!
    For many years a number of us have been commenting on the ridiculous and inefficient format of the F1 calendar. It is really costing the teams a large amount of money to continue criss-crossing the planet to put on a show. The suggested calendar has a lot of merit and makes a lot of sense to save money, time, resources and energy. That's probably why Liberty Media and the FIA won't endorse it, because they prefer to waste all those precious resources as long as their immense greed is satisfied.

  3. Jere Jyrälä

    The so-called optimized 2023 race calendar would be unrealistic because at least some Middle East events would occur within the phase (May-September) when these locations are unbearable for outdoor activities, + Abu Dhabi pays to hold the season finale.
    Additionally, Montreal & Miami have quite limited windows for ideal climatic conditions, so autumn beyond mid-September starts to become more & more unideal, while the Northern Hemisphere autumn is off for Miami because of Atlantic hurricane season (covering June-November).
    This article seemingly only considers distances between consecutive-event locations rather than all other factors.
    For example, considering Bahrain-Abu Dhabi distance specifically is pointless because they aren't the only Middle East locations in F1 these days & no direct movement from Jeddah to Melbourne or Melbourne to Baku because neither of these combinations was on consecutive weekends.
    Thinking about next season, here's a realistic race calendar formation that's largely unchanged from this season but critically avoids triple-headers altogether:
    Saudi Arabian GP 3.3
    Australian GP 10.3
    Chinese GP 24.3
    Japanese GP 31.3
    Bahrain GP 14.4
    Miami GP/Spanish GP/Emilia-Romagna GP 28.4
    Spanish GP/Miami/Emilia-Romagna GP 12.5
    Monaco GP 26.5
    Emilia-Romagna GP/Spanish GP 2.6
    Canadian GP 16.6
    Belgian GP/Austrian GP 30.6
    British GP 7.7
    Austrian GP/Hungarian GP 21.7
    Hungarian GP/Belgian GP 28.7
    Dutch GP 25.8
    Italian GP 1.9
    Singapore GP 15.9
    Azerbaijan GP 22.9
    Qatar GP 6.10
    US GP 20.10
    Mexico City GP 27.10
    Sao Paulo GP 10.11
    LV GP 16.11
    Abu Dhabi GP 1.12

    • ReallyOldRacer

      Jere, your opinions are usually very accurate. This post is ridiculous and shows little real knowledge of regional weather conditions. Sorry, my friend, the main article makes perfect sense.

      • Jere Jyrälä

        Yes, Shanghai & Suzuka can get chilly in March, even the second half.
        However, this wouldn't be my choice but is rather something that could happen based on what I read earlier this year.
        Otherwise, no location is in a phase with unideal climatic conditions, given the schedule is mostly unchanged from this season.
        Besides, FYI, I have good knowledge on regional weather conditions for different locations & climate zones, especially the ones (current & former) in F1 & not the first time anyone has invalidly questioned my credibility on this matter even though I never post stuff without prior knowledge or double-checking, etc.
        The article definitely doesn't make perfect sense because, as I pointed out, certain events would fall within a period when temps are unbearable for outdoor activities (Middle East locations), unideally chilly (Montreal), or in Miami's case, within the Atlantic hurricane season (& NFL regular season), which is definitely worthy of avoiding altogether with any outdoor events.
        All in all, the article solely focuses on a single aspect that isn't even the most critical one, rather than all aspects.

        • Jere Jyrälä

          I forgot to note Qatar GP as the first October quarter can still be quite hot in the Middle East, so holding the event later in the Northern Hemisphere autumn would be better.
          However, the sole reason for keeping largely unchanged is to be absolutely sure of avoiding triple-headers altogether.

          • ReallyOldRacer

            Jere generally makes good comments. I have raced in Canada in October and Florida in the summer. Weather was not an issue, my driving was. LOL

    • Blo

      Damn good suggestion, could you give a complete breakdown of the cumulative effect race by race.
      As RB are statistically unbeatable they should be awarded all the championships now and left at home hugely benefitting the environment worldwide.

  4. CanadianEh

    First things first - lets reduce the number to a reasonable 18 races a season. And organize the schedule in any manner that pleases the weather God's. "Efficiency" and "climate stewardship" be damned - this is a pseudo-sport built on excess. Imposing requirements to become "carbon-neutral" is an enduring fantasy of the left-leaning bureaucrats that run the FIA.

    Marcus Aurelius mentions something about observing the Nature of a thing for what it truly is and acting accordingly. Sage advice for all the virtue-signaling rule-makers.

    • Jere Jyrälä

      I'm okay with 22-24 GPs & while the race calendar formation should be more regionalized, I care even more about avoiding triple-headers altogether regardless of this aspect or the total event amount.

  5. vicnsi

    I suspect one major issue usually stems from having to co-ordinate the F1 calendar in such a way as to try and avoid potential clashes with other major sporting events during the year. (As an example the Monaco GP often clashes with the Indy500, and most times this can't be avoided.)

    • Jere Jyrälä

      The annual number of sporting events worthy of avoiding weekend clashes is very low anyway, so largely a non-issue.
      Additionally, nothing wrong with Monaco GP & Indy 500 regularly sharing a weekend because time difference means they never get a direct timing clash.

  6. ReallyOldRacer

    Funny! THREE SEASONS AGO I posted a regional calendar that would accommodate 24 races. All that I heard were crickets. Now, three years later, we start to talk scheduling common sense. I must live in an alternate universe or in the future. I am gobsmacked. LOL

    • smokey

      You're correct, ROR. This is not the first time this topic has been aired. Hopefully, the organisers of the show will get the message and make the calendar more functional with a focus on saving money and resources.
      By the way, my friend, it wasn't crickets that you heard. I think in your neck of the woods it was more likely to be baseballs!

  7. shroppyfly

    Leopold , the updating of messages on threads isnt working right, the latest comments button on right hand side does not reflect whats on the main screen part of the thread, Can you have a look its very annoying, I need to know whats happening at all times with my hero Max

  8. Wingwong Number

    Nǐ lái zhōngguó, wǒmen gěi jīngcǎi de bǐsài zhǎnshì dìwáng zhū shì zěnme zuò de. Bù xūyào wǒmen de rènhé sài dào, chúfēi nín zuòbì, fǒuzé wǒmen huì yíngdé suǒyǒu bǐsài. Wǒmen ài nǐ qīn'ài de lǐngxiù tè lǎng pǔ, tā shì wěidà de rén, bāngzhùle wǒmen hěnduō. Wǒmen yě bāngzhù tā huòshèng. Wúxū qù qítā rènhé dìfāng cānjiā bǐsài, nín kěyǐ zài zhèlǐ jìnxíng biǎoyǎn. Wǒmen xiàng nín zhǎnshì rúhé shēngcún.

  9. smokey

    Leopold, your suggestion to reverse the schedule and begin in Brazil and finish in Australia is very similar to the schedule we had in the 1980's and 1990's. Admittedly there were no Middle Eastern countries involved back then, and Singapore was not on the programme, but with a few tweaks to include the new-comers there is no reason why it wouldn't be much more efficient than the existing schedule that criss-crosses the globe.


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