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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