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The Formula 1 calendar has been expanding quite rapidly in the last few years with 2024 being the longest F1 season in the history of the sport. The introduction of new tracks like the Miami International Autodrome and the Las Vegas Strip Circuit has been hugely successful. And now it looks like Korea is trying to capitalize on F1’s recent success by building a new track centered around the Incheon district, which lies close to the capital city, Seoul. This new circuit will aim to recover from the failure of the purpose-built track near Mokpo in the southwest region of the country that hosted the Korean Grand Prix between 2010 and 2013.

Just about a month ago, the Incheon International Airport Corporation announced its plans to construct a new circuit in hopes of reviving the South Korean Grand Prix. According to a recent report from Autoweek.com, last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix served as a crucial moment to realizing that dream as the mayor of Incheon, Yoo Jeong-bok, met with Formula 1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali to submit an official letter of intent.

As per a construction official, the goal is to create unique attractions for foreign tourists, with motorsports being a focal point. The proposed motorsports-centered tourism and leisure complex is expected to draw in an impressive 200,000 visitors who would also attend the race, generating an estimated $90 million in revenue. And while there is no immediate rush, a tentative starting point for the comeback could be either 2026 or 2027, with a street-style event being the likely format.

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While the addition of new races to the F1 calendar is an exciting prospect for the fans with more action coming their way, the drivers have clearly not been happy with the ever-expanding race season.

Formula 1 drivers questioned the sustainability aspect of a 24-race-long season ahead of the 2024 season opener

In a press conference ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, the drivers didn’t hold back in criticizing the growing number of races in the F1 calendar. The trigger for this debate was Stefano Domenicali’s previous suggestion that the sport could eventually host as many as 30 races in a season.

One of the main concerns pointed out by drivers like Carlos Sainz was the toll it takes on everyone involved in the sport, from drivers to mechanics and even journalists. “It’s just on the limit of being too much and I really hope it just doesn’t go much higher than 24 because if not I think it’s going to be very tricky for everyone,” said Carlos. Lewis Hamilton also shared a similar sentiment, emphasizing the need to prioritize quality over quantity. He raised environmental concerns, pointing out the carbon footprint generated by the amount of traveling involved in hosting so many races across the globe. George Russell also thought along similar lines.

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Reigning world champion, Max Verstappen and double world champion, Fernando Alonso also criticized the sport, candidly stating that the current schedule was simply unsustainable. Verstappen, in particular, expressed concerns about the toll it takes on drivers’ careers and personal lives, hinting at the possibility of early retirements if the trend wasn’t kept in check.

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Alonso later referenced the Dutchman’s comments saying, “Even the world champion thinks that it’s a little bit long, the season. Imagine for the rest of us that we go to the races in the second half for nothing – there is no incentive to fight for anything.”

Do you think Formula 1 is going overboard with its addition of new races almost every single season now?

Written by

Veerendra Vikram Singh

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Veerendra Singh is a Motorsport writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in F1 coverage. Having followed the sport for more than 12 years, Veerendra excels in covering trend-setting articles and has covered Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, and Charles Leclerc extensively during the 2023 F1 season. His Dale Earnhardt Jr post regarding the North Wilkesboro Speedway was shared by Save The Speedway Twitter account.
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Edited by

Shreya Singh