Max Verstappen has voiced a negative opinion towards Formula 1’s 2024 schedule by saying it’s “not very sustainable for emissions” or “for the human body.”
The F1 circus has arrived in Abu Dhabi for the 2023 season finale, having arrived from the other side of the world in Las Vegas to complete a doubleheader to round out the year.
With that comes fatigue and jet lag, bringing the curtain down on a record 22-round season, reduced from 24 due to China and Imola’s cancellations.
Next year, two more races will be added to the calendar and Vegas, Qatar and Abu Dhabi will form a triple-header to end the season, shortly after an extensive period of races in the Americas, which is cause for concern for this year’s World Champion.
“It’s a bit tough to understand what time zone that you’re in,” Verstappen admitted. “I think what does help here is that it’s all a bit later, like you try to have a good night’s sleep and stuff.
“I definitely think for the future – of course for next year it’s not possible – but it’s a little bit odd that we are on the other side of the world basically before getting here.
“Especially when you’re talking about sustainability. It’s probably not very sustainable, not only for the emissions but also for the human body. Eventually we always deal with it, but I don’t think it’s great.”
Work has already begun with F1 grouping races together geographically on next year’s calendar, both to improve things from a sustainable and logistical standpoint.
However, Verstappen remains keen for more work to be done on improving the roster.
“We’ll talk to F1 about that, if there is something that we can do for the future to make it a little bit more of a normal end to the year. Because it’s already a lot of races, a lot of travelling in the end, after the summer break, basically,” Verstappen added.
“I think we can do a little bit of a better job with placing the grands prix. But already for next year I think they are doing that at the start of the year, so that will help.”
Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez also expressed concern not only for the drivers but for his mechanics’ wellbeing when it comes to the lengthy F1 schedule.
“I think this last part of the season has been super intense with the travelling backwards and forwards,” he noted.
“The amount of races, is definitely at the limit, not just for the drivers, but also for all the mechanics out there. I think this schedule really has to be more efficient.
“And, yeah, try to look after everyone in this world a lot more, you know, and my main concern is on my mechanics really.”
Asked whether the increasing calendar is a consequence of F1’s growth in popularity, Perez was keen to stress quality over quantity approach.
“I think we just have to make sure that we keep delivering and we just don’t make a lot of races for the sake of doing them,” he added.
“I think quality level is still very important to have in the sport to make sure we keep this upward route. We’re going to raise it up to try and see what can be done.
“I don’t remember seeing people so exhausted on the last race. And so I think it’s something that we got to be taking it very seriously.
“It’s important for the sport, for the drivers to obviously keep having these long careers that we’ve seen.
“From the staff, from the mechanics, we want them to have very long careers as well. So it’s something we’ve got to consider.”