F1 teams back decision to avoid repeat of triple header
Formula 1 teams have expressed relief that next year’s calendar will not feature a repeat of the triple header that the sport has just completed.
This year’s calendar was the first in history to feature three championship events across successive weekends, with Grands Prix held in France, Austria and Britain.
Next year’s roster is set to feature either 20 or 21 events, with Miami lined up for a provisional October date, and Germany dropped from the calendar.
If the 2019 schedule does match 2018’s record-equalling 21 Grands Prix calendar then it is set to be more spread out, ensuring that there are no cases of three events in three weekends.
“It’s the first one that we’ve ever had, and it’s a bit tiring on the guys to go from one to the other to the other,” said Force India Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer.
“I can see it in the mechanics and the service personnel there. They’re pretty much exhausted. I didn’t anticipate that it would be this bad.
“People told me beforehand that it was going to be very difficult, but I just thought ‘yeah, sure’. But it really is.”
McLaren chief Zak Brown added: “I think it’s been difficult, the three races back-to-back.
“I think most of the teams, if not all of the team – I’ll let them speak for themselves – would probably not prefer three races.
Claire Williams joked that “it means our season will be over quicker” but stressed “the most important thing is about the people.
“Taking into account, the guys, the boys and girls that work for us, they put in an enormous effort, and to put in a triple-header, when they’re not able to get home, is a tough thing for them and for their families.
“We’ve had to do quite a lot of work around ensuring our guys can get a break and to go home.”
From the perspective of a driver, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo said he “would happily race more if the weekends were shorter.
“For example, I started doing stuff on Tuesday [for Silverstone].
“So if we had more races, but then our week [was] getting more and more spread out with commitments, then it is too much.
“But if it is a three-day weekend, if we flew in Friday, left Sunday, we could do more.
“But the way the commitments seem to expand make it harder. That would be not so enjoyable. I want to race more, I want to talk less, basically.”