McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris are both relieved to return to a somewhat “normal” schedule over the next few weeks, following a hectic period of nine races in 11 weeks – a first for Formula 1.
F1 has previously only hosted a single triple-header prior to the 2020 season, but given the unusual circumstances this year, the calendar has undergone a major shake-up.
The delayed 2020 campaign began with three batches of back-to-back-to-back events in Austria/Hungary, Britain/Spain and Belgium/Italy.
The final leg of the calendar sees a return to some normality with races spaced out and of the remaining eight there is just one triple header.
McLaren’s Sainz welcomed the short break before Russia to recharge his batteries for the second half of the season.
“Nine races in 11 weekends was super tough for the whole crew, so it’s been good to have some time to reset, properly analyse the last races and recharge batteries,” commented the Spaniard.
Norris concurred with his team-mate, adding: “We head to the Russian Grand Prix next, for the first flyaway of the season. The schedule is looking a bit more ‘normal’ for the next few races after three triple-headers. Having time to recharge after nine races in 11 weeks was needed but I’m ready to go again.”
The compressed calendar has also had an impact on staff back at the factories, who have had to work to tight deadlines to turn around updates and replacement parts.
“Preparing to head to Russia for the first flyaway of the season brings its own set of different challenges in comparison to the previous triple-headers due to freight and logistically challenging timelines,” added production director Piers Thynne.
“Over the course of the first three triple-headers the production team back at the MTC have done a tremendous job in ensuring we had all the required parts we needed in such a short space of time.
“It was unfortunate that Carlos was involved in a crash at the Tuscan Grand Prix, but I’m glad nobody was harmed. From a production standpoint, we lost significant parts over the weekend at Mugello which need backfilling and preparing ahead of the flyaway to Sochi.
“The entire factory in all areas and on all shifts are continuing to rise to the challenge to work as one unified team to push parts and developments out to the team at track, to ensure we have every opportunity to consolidate and improve.
“Even though we are past the halfway point of the season, we still have to focus on the task at hand and continue to work hard. The balance of resources between car upgrades, spare parts and next year’s car continues to be an exciting challenge in this compact season. We’ll be deploying some new updates in future races with the aim to improve the car.”