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AvaTrade explains the F1 rulebook: The F1 calendar

Together with our Official Trading Partner AvaTrade, we're helping you decipher Formula One's rules and regulations. This time around, we take a closer look at the rules on how the World Championship calendar is formed and highlight some of the key changes to the 2024 calendar.

Aston Martin F1

The Formula One regulations have evolved numerous times since the World Championship's inception in 1950 – and they're still changing. Making sense of them is no mean feat.

We've teamed up with our Official Trading Partner AvaTrade to help break down F1's sporting and technical regulations and give you a greater insight into the sport.

Ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, we explore the rules around the formation of the Formula One calendar – which has just been announced for 2024.

4 Key changes to the 2024 calendar
The 2024 calendar includes China, which takes it to 24 races – the longest in Formula One history.
The Japanese Grand Prix will, for the first time, take place in April rather than later in the season.
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is scheduled for September rather than May, as it swaps places with Japan.
The Bahrain and Saudi Arabian Grands Prix take place on Saturdays to accommodate Ramadan.

Around the world

Next year's Formula One calendar, which was revealed on 5 July after being agreed upon by the F1 teams, the FIA and Formula One Management, will be the longest in the history of the World Championship. It begins in Bahrain on 2 March – followed by Saudi Arabia one week later – and concludes in Abu Dhabi on 8 December.

The calendar spans Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Oceania, which satisfies one very pivotal rule within the FIA international sporting code: to be classified a 'World' Championship by the FIA, the series calendar must take place on at least three continents during the same season .

Prior to 2007, the FIA would give written approval to the series in order to designate it a World Championship. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Formula One would still have been designated a World Championship even if it only raced in Europe. Of course, the 2020 season did eventually span three continents.

Making the grade

The sport's governing body, the FIA, categorises circuits within grades. The grades range from one to six, and only Grade One circuits can host Formula One races.

Circuit inspectors from the FIA take into account multiple factors, including the safety and standard of facilities, the track surface, kerbs, and grandstands, to make sure a circuit is fit for Formula One.

Furthermore, the FIA's regulations state that the minimum length for a Formula One circuit must be 3.5 kilometres – Monaco is the only exception at 3.337km.

Aston Martin F1

The long and short of it

Finally, there is a rule that states how long – or short – a Formula One season can be.

Article 5.5 of the FIA Sporting Regulations states: 'The maximum number of Competitions in the Championship is 24 the minimum is eight.'

The very first Formula One World Championship comprised just seven races, as did the 1955 season – although it was normal for a campaign to consist of eight or nine races in the 1950s. This number grew to 12 races in the late 1960s and, correlating with improved live coverage and increased interest in Formula One, the number of races steadily grew over the decades.

A record 17-race calendar sprung up in 1977 but subsequent seasons featured up to 16 races. It wasn't until 1995 that the calendar consisted of another 17 races again. From then on, the number of races increased rapidly, to a record of 19 in 2005 and 20 in 2012. Now, it's normal to have more than 20 races on the calendar but that number is capped at 24.

Despite the intense popularity and growth of Formula One, there are no plans to increase the number of Grands Prix beyond 24, and the amount of Sprint races is currently capped at six. The focus is on striking a balance between racing at traditional venues such as Monaco, Silverstone and the Hungaroring, and introducing new venues like Las Vegas and Saudi Arabia.

2024 Formula One calendar
Grand Prix:
2 March
Saudi Arabia
9 March
24 March
7 April
21 April
5 May
Emilia Romagna
19 May
26 May
9 June
23 June
30 June
United Kingdom
7 July
21 July
28 July
25 August
1 September
15 September
22 September
20 October
27 October
3 November
23 November
Abu Dhabi
8 December

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