Kimi Raikkonen, the soon to be retired Formula 1 World Champion , expressed his concern regarding the 23-race calendar set to be implemented in 2022 claiming it will cause people to burn out.
F1 has announced a record-breaking racing calendar for the 2022 season featuring 23 races which coincides the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the country that also hosted F1’s latest race at the Losail International Track on November 21.
This prompted some tweaking for the 2022 F1 calendar, so it doesn’t clash with the World Cup, resulting in two back-to-back triple headers for the Belgium-Netherlands-Italian Grands Prix followed by the Russian-Singapore-Japanese Grands Prix, making it six races in seven weeks.
The Iceman cares about his colleagues
Despite not being personally affected by this matter, Raikkonen weighed in on it with GPFANS, and how it affects F1 personnel, which is as genuine-an-opinion as you can get from the straight-shooting Finn.
“It will burn out a lot of people and this isn’t going to be good for anybody,” the 2007 Champion said.
“So I think maybe as a spectator, it is nice for having a lot of races, but the people that actually do most of the work, it is very difficult for them,” he went on.
“There has to be some kind of better way to go about that,” the Finn pointed out. “For some teams, it’s just not an option to just hire more people because they don’t have the money to hire.
“It’s a bit tricky,” he insisted.
Asked whether his earlier years in F1 were easier, as races did not exceed 17-18 races per season, the 42-year-old admitted those years had their challenges as well.
“There was testing between the races so I think more races is actually better than going racing then testing for a couple of days and then going to the next race,” he explained.
“So I don’t think it was any easier in that way,” Raikkonen reflected. “There was less racing.”
The Alfa Romeo driver hinted that he doesn’t have a problem, himself, with a congested F1 schedule, but admits that he feels for the team staff that are usually disadvantaged in such situations.
“I’ve been home between all of the races so obviously, it has only been two days but I enjoyed the time there and I don’t really have issues with jetlag,” he revealed.
“Obviously, with the mechanics, with a lot of people, they are doing long days especially with the issues with the cars coming at a later time [in Brazil],” the 21-time race winner said, referring to the latest logistics debacle some teams faced in Brazil with their freights delayed.
“They worked overnight and it’s hard for them,” Raikkonen claimed.
Different people, different opinions
The the 23-race calendar in 2022 has been the subject of several discussions, with some people hailing it and others expressing doubts of not worry.
AlphaTauri team principal, Franz Tost was happy to have a long season, going as far as saying that “if someone doesn’t like it, then he should go“, with Otmar Szafnauer being more “aware” of the challenges his staff may face saying that they will “look after” their staff.
As Kimi Raikkonen will be retiring by the end of 2021, and with his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi being given his marching orders, Alfa Romeo will tackled the gruesome 2022 F1 season with an all new driver lineup featuring Mercedes refugee Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou joining the Swiss based team, becoming the first ever Chinese driver to race in F1.