Formula One racing drivers want the racing calendar to be more sustainable ©Getty Images

Mercedes' Formula One driver George Russell has explained that a sustainable F1 calendar is important to the drivers as the sport expands in new markets.

The 25-year-old Briton, a director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, has been putting forward the drivers' opinions on key matters since 2021.

One of those is the flow of the calendar, which looks set to expand to 24 races next season.

The 2023 schedule was set to include 24 races before the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix.

That was set to follow the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

"There's obviously been a lot of talk about how sustainable the calendar is, you know, jumping from the Middle East, America and back to Europe," Russell said.

"I think in years to come that will be improved.

"I think for a lot of the fans, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

British F1 driver George Russell has emphasised the need for the racing calendar to be rearranged to make it more sustainable ©Getty Images
British F1 driver George Russell has emphasised the need for the racing calendar to be rearranged to make it more sustainable ©Getty Images

"There are a lot of limitations with the climate [when] we race at certain events and limitations with street circuits of when they can open it.

"But definitely I think Australia needs to be back-to-back with a Middle Eastern race, because I think almost all of us flew out here on a Saturday or Sunday [before the race].

"All the mechanics, engineers, likewise, so you're already losing those additional three or four days.

"So it makes sense to be back to back with a Middle Eastern race."

The 2024 calendar is not expected to be published until well after the summer break.

While Formula 1 will take measures to reduce emissions in the coming years, the sport "will never go electric" according to Stefano Domenicali, chief executive of the Formula One Group.

The European Parliament has recently signed an agreement reached by European member states last year.

It stipulates that no new petrol and diesel cars will be allowed to be sold from 2035 onwards.

It also requires new cars to emit 55 per cent less in 2030 compared to 2021.

But Domenicali is critical of these regulations, accusing politicians of setting impossible targets and having a ideological approach to electric cars.

"It is possible to become emission-free without modifying engines or throwing away existing cars," the former Ferrari team boss told Il Sole 24 Ore.

If it is up to Domenicali, F1 will never become fully electric as it is in Formula E.

But the sport is currently working on emission-free petrol, which the F1 boss says "can also be used by planes and ships".

Launched in 2019, Formula One's sustainability strategy is built on three pillars: achieving net zero carbon by 2030, leaving a legacy of positive change wherever it races and taking steps to build a more diverse and inclusive sport.

Sustainable fuels are set to be introduced in 2026, and this will be a pivotal moment in the series' sustainability overhaul.