Formula 1 will not schedule three races on consecutive weekends again next year as teams reported the strain of the triple-header had left some staff members “exhausted”.
Force India chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer told media including RaceFans the sport has decided not to run three races in a row on the 2019 F1 calendar.
Szafnauer admitted he underestimated the impact the run of three consecutive races would have on the team’s staff.
“It’s the first one we’ve ever had and it’s a bit tiring to go from one to the other to the other,” he said. “I can see it in the mechanics and the service personnel, they’re pretty much exhausted. I didn’t anticipate 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. I think the people making the calendar have taken that into consideration for next year and we won’t see a triple header.”
A significant number of the team’s staff had been affected by the triple-header, said Szafnauer.
“The people who transport this motorhome, for example, they don’t go home. The people who serve us the food, they don’t go home. There’s about 70. That’s a significant number for us, we’re only 400 people, so it’s almost a quarter of the people that experience that extra load. It’s quite a bit.”
Next year’s championship will begin one week earlier and end one week later. The loss of the German Grand Prix could reduce pressure on the number of race weekends but its place could be taken by a planned new race in Miami.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the sport should consider whether fans wanted to see races on three consecutive weekends.
“We should try to avoid this because it’s not only that the teams are challenged with it, we need also to see what the fans think of it,” he said. “[Whether] there is a saturation factor coming in, that no-one is watching a third race in a row every Sunday: you’re just getting over a race, basically.
“We need to see the figures as well after this weekend to see what is coming out of that one. If it’s good or bad for Formula One or maybe everything is the same, but something will come out.”
Steiner said the “intensity” of the triple-header was affecting his team.
“Sometimes people want to go home, see their family. If you have a family and if you’re 30 years old, you have children, you want to see them sometimes and if you keep on working and working that’s not good.
“There are some people who don’t care about that but I think the majority of people have a family and it’s just putting strain on it.”
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