George Russell claimed it would not be sustainable to drag around 4,000 Formula 1 staff around the world for 24 races, as Liberty Media continue to milk their prized F1 cow.
While F1 continue to chase their 2030 net zero target, the races are increasing with the sport’s 2024 calendar including 24 races, a record number in its history.
And while the cars are responsible for 0.7% of F1’s, it is the travel all over the world that has the most impact and while that is an aspect, all this traveling has taken its toll on drivers and team staff.
In Abu Dhabi, George Russell revealed he was ill and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon as well, the latter the body is not designed for 23-24 races per season.
F1 landed in Abu Dhabi mere hours after the Las Vegas Grand Prix, held in a totally different time zone, was concluded, with that kind of travel having an impact on the team staff as well, who do not enjoy the same luxuries drivers do in terms of travel or training programs that help them cope with the changes.
In the post race press conference, after finishing third at Yas Marina, Russell was asked to comment on this matter, he said: “I think the drivers, we have it best from every single person in this paddock, the way we travel.
F1 staff’s bodies are struggling with time zone shifts
“We’re in a very fortunate position,” he insisted. “But everybody up and down the paddock – I’ve got so many mechanics who are ill, people in the engineers’ office, just really struggling with the constant time zone shifts, the body not knowing where you are, eating at different times, staying in different hotels, different environments, different climates. The body’s getting confused.
“I think there are talks for next year about personnel being regulated that they can’t do every single race. I think that would be a good thing.
“I don’t think it’s sustainable to 4,000 people, I think it is, to do 24 races a season, especially when you see how geographically it still doesn’t make a huge amount of sense,” the Mercedes driver concluded.
We are set to follow a record 24 F1 races next season, starting with Bahrain and ending in Abu Dhabi, with China making a return, three races in the United States (Austin, Miami, and Las Vegas), as well as four races in the Middle East (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates).
The 2024 calendar will feature five double headers and three triple headers. Of the double headers going from Azerbaijan to Singapore will be an ask.
As for the triple headers there will be two consecutive one towards the end of the season separated by a two-week break. Austin – Mexico – Sao Paulo, then Las Vegas – Qatar – Abu Dhabi. This last one will be brutal.
Big Question: Do you think the 2024 Formula 1 calendar is right? Sustainable?