Formula 1 just announced that 2022 will have a record 23 races, but Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel feels the sport is stretching the boundaries, and that it shouldn’t have so many races.
Formula 1 has a been vocal about their wish to increase the number of races, and their recently announced 23-race calendar is a case of putting your money where your mouth is, with new venues such as Miami joining the F1 circus, while China remains a major absentee from the provisional calendar due to strict Covid-19 restrictions still implemented by the authorities.
The inflated calendar has been the subject of several discussions and opinions, with AlphaTauri’s team boss Franz Tost saying recently that “any F1 staff who doesn’t like 23 races should go“, but his former driver Sebastian Vettel, who gave Tost’s team their first ever F1 victory in Monza in 2008, thinks differently.
The four-time champion was speaking to Motorsport-Total about the subject and said: “I think I arrived when Formula 1 was in a kind of transitional phase. Compared to the years before, there were not so many tests. And there were more and more races.
“Now this is just my opinion and it’s not worth anything, but I think we shouldn’t have so many races. There are a number of reasons for that,” Vettel added.
“For one thing, maybe there are too many races for the people who want to see them. It’s not special anymore when there are so many,” he said highlighting the importance of the sport’s exclusivity.
Vettel went on to express his empathy with the F1 staff, that usually have to spend extended time intervals traveling and away from their families, he said: “Secondly, I feel sorry for them… We drivers are on the good side of things.
“We can arrive on Wednesday evening and, if we find a flight, leave on Sunday evening. But the team has much more stress. They arrive on Monday or Saturday of the previous week, set up the garage, prepare the cars. And then they have to pack everything up again, send it back and prepare it at the factory.
“So for them it’s basically a job where you’re busy all weekdays and almost every weekend, so you don’t have time for yourself. At a time when people are becoming more and more aware that they also have a life and that life doesn’t belong to the employer…. Yes, I think it is critical that we go on like this, that there are more and more races,” Vettel warned.
“I know it’s not within my sphere of influence. And of course there are other interests.
Vettel, known to be a private family man when he is not in the cockpit of an F1 car, stressed the importance of having a proper balance between family and work for F1 staff: “But we have to make sure that people find a balance between their lives at home and the time they spend on the road.
“It should be a number of races that is sustainable so that you keep your passion for many years and you’re not drained after two or three years,” the German concluded.
Vettel has recently announced that he will be racing for Aston Martin in 2022. His first season with the team has been decent albeit not consistent with a podium in Baku a highlight of the four-time champion’s season. He also scored a second place finish in Hungary, but was disqualified for fuel-regulation infringements on his car.