Zak Brown proposes F1 calendar solution as congestion mounts in 2024 and beyond

Jamie Woodhouse
McLaren's Zak Brown in the paddock at the Japanese Grand Prix.

McLaren's Zak Brown in the F1 paddock.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says the F1 personnel are “tired” as the calendar nears 24 rounds, stressing rotation is the way to go.

Efforts to expand the Formula 1 calendar have coincided with a popularity boom for the series, stemming from the success of Netflix’s hit docuseries Drive to Survive.

But with promoters battling for a place on the schedule, Formula 1 is constantly walking a fine line between continuing the growth and pushing personnel too far.

Zak Brown calls for rotation on F1 calendar

With the Chinese Grand Prix scheduled to return to the fold for F1 2024, having not been held since 2019, the upcoming season is set to consist of 24 grands prix, including six sprint events.

Brown believes there is a way for all interested parties to get a taste of F1 action without overloading the personnel, that being to have a portion of events which rotate on and off the calendar from year to year.

Asked during the Track Limits podcast whether he is a fan of new races being added to the calendar, Brown replied: “I am not a fan of the calendar being beyond 24 races.

“I’m a fan of rotational races. So we can call it 18 permanent races and then maybe 10 where you rotate every other year.

“So I think we do want to expand the calendar, but everyone’s tired too, we’re tired now.

“So I think we do need to expand, but you have to do that in a rotational manner, because there’s just not enough weekends left.”

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Canadian Grand Prix has the best atmosphere

F1’s dilemma of balancing expansion and workload has led to uncertainty over several venues considered traditional stops on the calendar, F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali having made it clear that history is no longer enough to guarantee a spot.

Brown picked out one of the long-standing F1 events when asked to name which one he thinks has the best atmosphere, Brown selecting the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“Montreal is always my favourite,” said Brown. “It’s a great race.

“I mean there’s so many great races. Austin is unbelievable, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and of course Monaco.

“So it’s a long list of the exciting races, but if I had to pick one, it would be Montreal.”

Brown’s McLaren team head into F1 2024 full of momentum, having scored nine podium finishes and a sprint win across an impressive F1 2023 campaign.

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