F1's end of season schedule is "strange", says Alonso

Fernando Alonso thinks Formula 1’s end of season schedule choice this year is "strange", and has left team mechanics and staff "on the limit".

F1's end of season schedule is "strange", says Alonso
Listen to this article

F1 is heading to its second race of the Mexico-Brazil-Qatar triple header this weekend, with grand prix racing's chiefs having elected to go for an ambitious inter-continental three events on the bounce.

With the travel and strain at this end of the season pushing the stamina of F1 personnel to the edge, Alonso suggests that it is a bit weird to have had a two-week gap between the United States and Mexico, and then go for the three consecutive races.

"This triple-header is not the most convenient," explained the Alpine driver before he left Mexico. "Every race is separated by 12 hours [on a] plane or something like that. And we have to race three consecutive weekends.

"It's important for the team, for the mechanics to save energy. They are in the garage, packing everything, they will finish late, they will take a plane, arrive in Brazil, and they will pack everything and mount the garage. So it is on the limit for them, for sure.

"Hopefully we find better solutions for the calendar, because Austin is one hour and a half from Mexico. And we were two weeks ago in Austin.

"It feels strange that some races are separated two weeks and some of the races that are in another continent they are back-to-back."

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 signs autographs for fans

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 signs autographs for fans

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

While the decision to have a long gap between Austin and Mexico does appear unusual, it was originally done that way because of concerns over travel restrictions due to the COVID pandemic.

At the time the schedule was set, both Mexico and Brazil were on the UK's red lists of countries that required mandatory quarantine on return, something that could have proved troublesome for teams.

By hosting Brazil and Mexico back to back, with Qatar afterwards, it meant F1 personnel could have avoided the quarantine restriction by the time they returned from the Middle East.

In the end, the UK ditched the red zone restrictions so F1 teams would have had no problem returning to the UK after Mexico or Brazil.

The challenges of the current calendar come amid F1's bid to ramp up the schedule in the future, something that has caused a fair deal of unease in certain sections of the paddock.

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll is one who thinks it important F1 considers down time for staff, and does not just push on in adding on races without caring about consequences.

"I understand there's a motive financially to increase the number of races and expand the sport," he said.

"But I think there has to be a balance thinking of the mechanics, the engineers, and all of the personnel in Formula 1, that have families at home, that travel around the world and dedicate a lot of their times to go racing.

"I think there still has to be a balance where F1 takes a break and gives a chance to people to go home, see their families, spend some time doing other things, and then we come back and we take racing very seriously.

"I don't think it should become out-of-hand ridiculous 25 race calendar seasons. It looks like it's heading that way, but I think that F1 should also think about the personnel, and their families."

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

Bottas admits he could've done better in Mexican GP start
Previous article

Bottas admits he could've done better in Mexican GP start

Next article

Verstappen would ‘absolutely’ use #1 if he wins F1 world title

Verstappen would ‘absolutely’ use #1 if he wins F1 world title
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Prime

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Prime

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? Luke Smith asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Prime

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Prime

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Prime

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter Prime

When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Prime

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week, and though it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted more just why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action.

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why new Williams F1 boss shouldn't avoid 'Mercedes B-team' comparisons Prime

Why new Williams F1 boss shouldn't avoid 'Mercedes B-team' comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023