Carlos Sainz, McLaren, on the grid

Seidl: Triple-headers can’t be the new standard

Carlos Sainz, McLaren, on the grid

Formula 1’s breakneck schedule is a necessary evil for 2020, but cannot become accepted practice, warns McLaren boss Andreas Seidl.

Forced to significantly condense the calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the F1 season is currently set for 13 races, most of which are taking place in a series of triple-headers.

The first, which opened the season with two races in Austria and one in Hungary, was followed by a week off, with a second leg to begin this week with two races at Silverstone, followed by the Spanish Grand Prix.

For Seidl, as much as the financial boost they provide during the pandemic is sincerely welcomed, he insists they are not worth the toll they take on personnel under regular circumstances.

“We’re going now into the triple-header with these two races in the UK, which is obviously for the UK teams is not as bad as for some other teams,” he said. “At least we have the possibility to arrive at the track as late as possible with only a short travel, and having a break between these two Silverstone races.

“Then we go into another triple-header, and then at the moment I think on the schedule there is another triple-header later on, which I think then is tough. Given the special circumstances we are in this year, it’s something we simply have to get through this year.

“But at the same time, this cannot be the new standard going forward also in future seasons.”

Expanding further, Seidl said the challenge for his staff is not so much the workload, as it is the separation from friends and family.

“I don’t think that the biggest challenge is actually the work we have to do out here at the track,” he explained.

“It’s also tough work, but I think the biggest issue is being away from the families and the kids and so on, for each team member.

“Going through this first triple-header after this long break we had, I think it’s also not the biggest challenge yet.

“We need to be aware that the longer we go now in the season, especially the triple-headers that are coming later on, that will be a big challenge for the team.

“What we do from a team side is try to make travelling, accommodation, and everything we can provide to the team here at the track and back at the hotels as comfortable as possible and as good as possible, simply to get through as a team in the best possible shape.

“At the same time, I think everyone inside the team understands that this is a special season, under special circumstances after this virus broke out.

“We all understand also that it’s absolutely necessary for the existence of the teams that we do these races this year.

“I simply hope that with everything we do together with the team, having an open ear also, listening to where the problems are within the team or each team member, and we hopefully manage to get through in a sustainable way.”

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