For scheduling reasons the Formula 1 calendar is effectively divided into three parts: long-haul set of four races upfront; European portion covering May to early September; and a back end consisting of seven flyaways spread across nine weeks.
In drawing up the calendar, the commercial-rights holder takes into account factors such as seasonal climates in host countries, public holidays, logistics for both cost and time reasons, and proximity of other races. For example, back-to-backing Bahrain and Abu Dhabi would seriously impact on ticket sales for both.
Calendar expansion has compounded the task, for obviously the challenge of squeezing 20 races into a window that previously catered for 16 rounds is greater, with geography further complicating matters.
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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken