F1 seasons have varied in length over the years. The length and structure of an F1 season is very different now to what it was when the championship first started in 1950. But with rules and regulations changing every year, new fans may be wondering just how long an F1 season is.
The 2022 Formula 1 season features 23 races, and is the longest that we’ve ever seen in the history of the sport. The season runs from March to November, and the FIA has confirmed that it will push the total number of races up to 24 in 2023, and we may see it grow even further.
However, the length of the Formula 1 season has caused several problems for teams and drivers, with many already saying that the seasons are too long. Many fans are happy having more races to watch, but the length of an F1 season doesn’t just affect the fans and the drivers, as we discuss below.
How Long Does The F1 Season Last?
The average Formula 1 season lasts about eight or nine months depending on the number of races that are held within the season. Over time, Formula 1 seasons have gotten longer, with the 1950 championship featuring 6 races, and 2022 seeing 23 races being held.
Although there are some breaks in between races, Formula 1 staff and teams usually work to a tight schedule and can’t afford to waste any time with their logistics in getting from one race to another during the season.
The 2022 Formula 1 season is the longest season in the history of the sport, with the season only ending in late November. There have been rumors of Formula 1 increasing the length of the season further in future, but this was met with a backlash from drivers and teams.
Problems Caused By Longer Seasons
For the drivers, a longer season is not too much of an issue. While it does obviously mean they have more races to compete in, and they have less time to prepare between races, a longer season isn’t always that much more difficult for them. However, longer seasons put a lot more pressure on the staff that work in Formula 1. The Formula 1 and team staff need to travel to each Formula 1 race.
This means that they spend a lot of time away from home and from their families. Overall, this could have an impact on the mechanics and engineers who pour hours of work into Formula 1 and travel to 20+ different countries around the world.
There is also the issue of the staff members being overworked and becoming too exhausted to complete their duties throughout the Formula 1 season. There’s a lot of work that we often don’t see behind the scenes, and doing this too much can take a toll on the team members. So, we may not we see longer seasons in F1 in the future.
How Many F1 Races Per Season?
There are usually around 21 F1 races per season, with the 2022 season featuring a record-breaking 23 races. While 16 was the number of races per season in F1 in the 1990s, it has grown to around 20 since the start of the 2010s.
The number of races in a Formula 1 season varies each year depending on a few different factors. In recent years we have seen races being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made the overall number of races during the season unpredictable.
The 2022 Formula 1 season has 23 races, which is the most that we have ever seen in the history of the sport. This has come with some complaints from teams and staff who work around the clock to keep the show on the road.
In February 2022 the FIA approved a provisional 24 race calendar for 2023 which will once again be a record breaking season for Formula 1. It is suspected that this change has been made to accommodate for the Chinese Grand Prix returning to the calendar.
Is A 23-Race Season Too Long?
2022 is the longest season that we will see in the sport’s history so far. There have been some complaints about the length of the season already, but these complaints have not only or even primarily been coming from the drivers.
For the drivers, the race is over on a Sunday afternoon. However, for the crew and Formula 1 staff, a lot more work awaits them after the checkered flag. Taking everything down, packing up the cars and equipment, and ensuring it arrives safely at the next event is their responsibility. Having to do this more often can become exhausting and will also mean they spend more time away from home.
Aside from the effects on F1 staff, there is no doubt that more races would also just simply raise the bills for the teams even higher than they are now. In a cost cap environment, where teams are limited to the number of specific parts they can use throughout a season, increasing the season length would come with extra costs, which goes against the budget cap.
How Do F1 Seasons Work?
Formula 1 seasons usually start around March, with the first round of the season being towards the end of the month. Before that, the teams will conduct preseason testing at a track that has been selected by the FIA, usually the Catalunya circuit in Barcelona or in Bahrain, as has been the case in recent years.
The races will be held either one or two weeks apart depending on the travel time and distance between events. For example, there’s only a one week gap between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, but there’s a two week gap between Saudi Arabia and Australia. This comes down to the distance that the teams need cover with their cars and equipment.
There is normally a summer break in August, which is usually three or four weeks long. During this time, the teams and drivers take an enforced break, allowing them to rest and recover for the second half of the season, which is normally more tightly packed with events as the sport travels across Europe, Asia and North and South America.
Following the final race of the season, teams and drivers will take an increasingly shortening winter break. While the drivers get a break until March, it’s not long before the team’s crew need to get started with work on the next season’s car back at the factory. Many teams begin developing their car for the next season early, and will already be in the final stages of completion come January.
What Is Pre Season Testing In F1?
Preseason testing in F1 is a three to four day open test for teams before their season starts. It allows the teams to test their cars before the season starts, and it allows them to iron out any major issues that new cars might have before the first race.
Private testing has been banned by the FIA since 2009, which means that teams are not allowed to drive their current or new cars for development at all throughout the season aside from at official events. This has been done to make the grid more equal, as teams with bigger budgets would be able to do more testing than smaller teams.
Outside of the official tests and before a new season starts, teams can run their cars in what is known as a “shakedown.” Each team is allowed to run only 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) outside of official FIA events for testing and promotional purposes, usually classified as filming days. It’s not as valuable for the teams as proper tests, but it’s still useful to get the cars on track.
Why Is Pre Season Testing Important?
Preseason testing is a crucial part of the Formula 1 season as it allows the teams to truly put their cars through their paces to ensure that everything is working as it should. Oftentimes, when new cars are developed, there can be some hiccups in the beginning.
Perhaps a team gets the new designs completely wrong and they’re significantly slower than expected, or perhaps some of their design elements have caused other issues in terms of reliability or overheating.
Spending the time to test the car before the season starts allows the team to identify these issues and potentially fix them before the season starts a few weeks later. Preseason testing is “unlimited” which means that teams can run as much as they want to within the scheduled testing timeframes.
How Long Is The Average F1 Grand Prix?
The average F1 Grand Prix is about 1 hour and 40 minutes. The length of a Formula 1 race is determined by distance. Each Grand Prix is a minimum of 305 km (190 miles) in length (except Monaco, which is 260 km or 162 miles), and must be completed in under two hours.
190 miles is different on each track because each track is unique in terms of the length of the lap. Having each Grand Prix set at 190 miles is the best way to ensure that each race is about the same length. This is why there is usually a big variance in the number of laps that are completed at each race, even though they still complete the same race distance.
A Grand Prix must be finished in no longer than two hours if there are no stoppages. Taking the 2021 F1 season as an example, and ignoring the “race” at Spa that never really happened, the average F1 race was around 98 minutes long.
What Is A Triple Header In F1?
A triple header is a term used in Formula 1 that refers to three races in a row within three weeks. Usually there will be a week’s break in between races, especially if there has been two races within two weeks, but a triple header sees three race weekends in a row.
Triple headers can be extremely difficult for teams and drivers as it requires them to follow a tight schedule, and they can’t afford any delays in transporting their cars and equipment from race to race. Drivers often struggle with triple headers as they can become overworked and tired with so many races in such a short space of time.
A Formula 1 season is normally held between March and November with around 20 races being hosted during that time. The 2022 season has 23 races, which is the most we’ve ever seen. Many teams and drivers are against having more than 23 races during a Formula 1 season.