Formula 1’s expansion to a 22-round calendar will not pose a significant headache for teams, according to McLaren sporting director Sam Michael.
While Michael admits teams could be forced to draw upon additional support personnel particularly for a potential triple-header of Monaco, New Jersey and Canada he says adapting to the new schedule will not prove too taxing.
Asked if he was concerned about F1’s possible record 22 events next year, Michael said: “I guess anything is possible; we just need to adapt if that is what is required.
“We can do a double-header, so once you’ve done that you can do a triple-header in terms of logistics and moving freight. So equipment wise you can be covered, but equipment and planes don’t get tired; people do. It means you have to perhaps consider a support crew who would come and set up at a grand prix.
“At the moment you can use your race crew to do a lot of the setup of garages and things. If you get into triple-headers, you may have to use a handful of people to go out and set up a structure before the race team arrives.
“You may eventually get to the point where you have separate crews, to crew or even engineer the cars, but I’m not sure we’re quite at that point yet.”
And while team bosses have previously warned that F1 is reaching a limit on what we can subject our people to, Michael contended that the calendar expansion was simply a new challenge for F1 teams to adapt to. He said the cost of additional support crews would also be easily offset by the additional income of extra races.
“I’m not concerned it’s a matter of F1 adapting and adjusting to whatever the business needs are,” he said when asked if F1 risked overdoing it.
“F1 is all about change. I’ve been through plenty of examples previously in my F1 career where I’ve thought, ‘There is no way they can do that,’ and they do.
“From a human point it’s where you put all your energy in to make sure people are fit and healthy and covered properly not just to cope with jet lag and do and a normal 16-18 hour day, but also in the case of the pit crew they have an athletic job to do. I think that the cost of using people from McLaren they’re not necessarily additional employees would be marginal compared to the income of additional grands prix.”
“F1 is about achieving things that are not normally possible, and this is far from the worst challenge we have had.”