Leclerc urges F1 to host “no more” than 24 races

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc feels Formula 1 has reached its maximum number of grands prix, voicing concerns over staff wellbeing.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

F1's calendar has ballooned to 24 races in 2024 amid the series' surge in popularity, with owners Liberty Media keen on bringing the championship to new markets in major metropoles, including Miami and Las Vegas.

It is also eyeing a race on the African continent, although efforts to revive the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami have yet to come to fruition.

With the 2024 calendar posing several logistical headaches, including triple headers and a run of four standalone flyaways, Leclerc has joined Red Bull's Max Verstappen in voicing his concerns over how demanding the schedule has become for F1 staff.

"Not more," Leclerc replied when asked by Autosport on his thoughts about a 24-race calendar.

"One side of me understands. It's not easy if you put yourself in the shoes of Formula 1, we have a sport that is booming, and it's great to have that. We are very lucky to have that.

"At the same time, I feel like at one point, it just gets too much. Not for us drivers, because we have a really good life.

"And I think the drivers that are complaining probably don't realise that the mechanics, the engineers, the guys on the logistics are here three days before us and leave two days after. I think for them, it starts to be quite a bit."

Las Vegas and Qatar are new full-time additions to the calendar this year

Las Vegas and Qatar are new full-time additions to the calendar this year

Photo by: Liberty Media

Under F1's current commercial arrangement, 24 is the maximum number, but that Concorde Agreement is up for renewal for 2026.

Leclerc also points out individual grands prix will lose their appeal and importance if there are too many of them, much like the Olympics would no longer be special if they were hosted every year.

"I'm happy whenever I'm in the car, but I think that a grand prix still needs to be a unique thing," Leclerc explained.

"And I feel like if you always have a grand prix every weekend, then you probably will lose a little bit of that special feeling you get whenever you get to a race."

Earlier this month, soon-to-be triple F1 world champion Verstappen said the increased human cost of competing in F1, with all the added off-track activities that are required, have sometimes made him question if his hectic lifestyle is still worth it.

"People might think, 'Well, he makes a lot of money, what is that guy complaining about?' But it's about your wellbeing, how you experience things and not how much you make," Verstappen said.

"I feel like I have to do too much and skip other things [I enjoy doing], so I sometimes think, 'Is still worth it?'"

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