Without changes to the race weekend format, Daniel Ricciardo believes a calendar consisting of 18 races would be the right amount.
Formula 1 has pushed ahead in recent seasons with expanding the calendar, 22 rounds making up the 2022 schedule with plans for a record 24 races in 2023, set to feature the long-term return of the Qatar Grand Prix and the debut of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
If Formula 1 does indeed introduce a 24-race calendar, then Ricciardo does think it is possible.
However, that is only if there is a less intense schedule for the race weekend.
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Speaking to Speedcafe, Ricciardo said: “I think like around that mark that 18 is a good number. It’s also the stuff, like, the race weekends 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.
“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.
“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.
“If they still want the time, then I think 18 [races] is a good number.”
Daniel Ricciardo is not going to get his wish of an 18-race calendar
While seasons with fewer than 20 rounds were common in years past, it seems near impossible that Formula 1 will return to those kind of numbers intentionally.
The fact is that Formula 1 has arguably never been more popular, the sport is bringing in new fans and reaching an increasingly younger audience, which naturally means that the demand to host a grands prix is increasing all the time.
Formula 1 is enjoying a particularly productive popularity boom in the United States, sparked by Netflix’s Drive to Survive series, with the debut of the Miami Grand Prix and upcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix following.
The series is actively pursuing ways to make the calendar more manageable, including the prospect of races being grouped geographically in a bid to reduce the instances of travelling from one part of the globe to the other between rounds.
Nonetheless, with sprint qualifying also targeted for an increase from the current three stagings in 2022, subject to FIA approval, it seems that Ricciardo may get a half-baked solution to his wish for a less demanding format.
Of course, the Aussie first must hope that he is on the 2023 grid, with Oscar Piastri hotly tipped to replace him at McLaren from next season.