Switch RANT button to off – done. Resume typing. With some time on my hands I decided to take another look at WRC and Formula 1 calendars for next year but this time I added MotoGP to the mix, just to make things even more interesting. As we know, both Formula 1 and MotoGP are VERY well covered TV-wise and they also don’t seem to be struggling with popularity. Let’s ignore the F1 GP in Korea for a moment, shall we.
So, what do we have lined up for next year in terms of these three major championships? Clashes, ladies and gents, clashes everywhere. In this little “review” I’ll assume that WRC is the weakest of the three in terms of TV coverage – for all we know, series’ promoters are still working on a concept for “TV meets WRC meets TV” for next year. Well, for the series that has yet to start its TV campaign, WRC will have some battle on its hands next year, with numerous clashes with both Formula 1 and MotoGP races.
In total, WRC and Formula 1 are going to, well, clash seven (7) times in 2014. That is if the calendars remain as they are now. So seven times will Formula 1 invade Twitter, TV and mainstream media. Further clashes between WRC and MotoGP also exist, but these are, more or less, inevitable. Same can be said about the F1 and WRC overlapping, but to an extent! Seven times is not couple or a few. Is it even accidental?
Solution: run more races in dead seasons. Surely WRC wouldn’t mind having three rallies in the heat of August because screw vacations. Also, why not have four rallies in first three months and then another two or even three in December? Sounds good? Not really.
Luckily for WRC, we only have 13 rallies to worry about. Imagine the horror of 22 or 19 races calendars in Formula 1 or MotoGP.
Let’s also asume WRC promoters will indeed bring live TV to next year’s WRC events, similar to what Rallye de France did this year. Unofficially, they plan to have live TV on at least eight (8) rounds of the 2014 World Championship. With WRC calendar consisting of 13 rallies and with 7 of those clasing with (at least) Formula 1, WRC will have a bloody mountain to climb if ti wants to attract new audience.
There’s no doubt what I and many other WRC fans will be watching in those clashing week ends, but for new people, I’m not so sure.
On the other hand, Formula 1 is what, 2 hours? Comes and goes, WRC is three days! Three days of live TV vs 2 hours of Formula 1? Suddenly it doesn’t sound that bad, does it. We only need to exclude qualifying, free practice and all other mumbo-jumbo that Formula 1 produces in between those sessions so you feel like there’s something going on 24 hours a day. WRC could learn from that, not just go to sleep and shut down everything when the cars reach the overnight service park.
6 April – WRC: Portugal, F1: Bahrain
27 April – F1: Korea, MotoGP: Argentina
11 May – WRC: Argentina, F1: Spain
1 June – WRC: Italy, F1: USA, MotoGP: Italy
28 June – WRC: Poland, MotoGP: Netherlands
24 August – WRC: Germany, F1: Belgium
14 September – WRC: Australia, MotoGP: San Marino
21 September – F1: Singapore, MotoGP: Aragon
5 October – WRC: France, F1: Russia
26 October – WRC: Spain, F1: Abu Dhabi, MotoGP: Australia
9 November – F1: USA, MotoGP: Valencia
16 November – WRC: Great Britain, F1: Mexico