Feb.29 - 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, 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".

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9 F1 Fan comments on “F1 Stars Slam "Risky" 24-Race Marathon: Alonso, Verstappen & Sainz Speak Out

  1. Tommy

    Lets See

    MLB ~ 162 Games a year.
    NBA ~ 83 GY
    PGA ~ 44 tournaments @ 4 Rds per 176
    Rds a season if they play all.
    Soccer 70 Matches a year.

    Quit the belly aching, What! Why not just 6 races all at the same track, that ought to be enough to determine a champ and just think of the reduced environmental impact. What a win win for the drivers that are whining and for F1 and their optics that they really care about all this sustainability carbon neutral BS. I bet hammy and some of the other drivers would be all for it until they filled them in on the reduced salary and bonus structure. Time to sack up.

    • Jere Jyrälä

      You do realize other sports have much easier logistics than motorsports, not to mention the series you mentioned don't compete globally like F1, so totally apples to oranges comparison.
      Better should know better.

  2. Jere Jyrälä

    24 itself is okay, but certain other aspects should be different, such as getting rid of triple-headers for good to minimize impact.

  3. smokey

    One aspect you have overlooked, Tommy, is that F1 drivers and teams are contracturally obliged to attend and participate in all practice sessions, qualifying and races at each venue. As has been pointed out, F1 competes globally, not just in one country or region.
    I don't know what sport MLB is, however, there is no obligaion on PGA players to participate in every round. They can choose when and where they want to play. As for NBA, they play in the same country and area. Not a big deal for NBA players to get in their car and drive to the next game! Also, the sports you mentioned pale into insignificance when you consider the logistics of transportation for 20+ F1 teams, their cars and associated equipment from one country to another. I mean, NBA teams take some uniforms and a few balls, PGA players take a few sets of golf clubs ~ incomparable to F1's required logistics!

    • Tommy

      Didn't realize the drivers had to pack all that gear on their backs from track to track. Lets be honest here, drivers don't have anything to do with the logistics nightmare your talking about. Their toughest battle between tracks may be a little jet lag, other than that I doubt being pampered on a private jet is all that exhausting.

  4. shroppyfly

    Ronnie O is getting grief in the UK for not entering enough tournaments, and yes Snooker is a world sport with competitions in China and Middle east, again though its the promoters who are causing the grief , a bit like liberty, ok maybe you cant compare different sports, but there are greedy promoter similarities


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