Steiner urges calendar rethink regarding tripleheaders

Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images

Steiner urges calendar rethink regarding tripleheaders

Formula 1

Steiner urges calendar rethink regarding tripleheaders

By

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says Formula 1 needs to try and avoid racing on three consecutive weekends after how exhausted his team members were following the Austrian Grand Prix.

F1 attempted one such tripleheader of France-Austria-UK back in 2018 in order to try and avoid clashes with the World Cup Final, and vowed at the time not to return to such a schedule due to the pressures it put on the teams. However, they have since been used regularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the past three races marked the first of four tripleheaders this season, with Belgium-Netherlands-Italy and Russia-Turkey-Japan to be followed by USA-Mexico-Brazil.

“I must admit, I think they are now looking forward to getting home as you can imagine,” Steiner said of his team. “We actually discussed it that another three are coming after the summer break and it will be tough, but we just need to keep our heads down and keep on going. At the end of this season we will be able to say it will have been tough for everybody, but hopefully everybody gets through and we do a good job.

“At the moment, we are still talking (about the schedule) because of COVID, the calendar changes. But we need to try to not have tripleheaders. I think it is better to have consistent doubleheaders then four tripleheaders in a season.

“For tripleheaders, some people are away a month until they get back home and, in that month, did three races which is also pretty stressful. I’m sure FOM will look into it but this one, it was just thrown in because the calendar still is a moving target.”

In fact, Steiner believes the first tripleheader featuring two races in Austria will actually prove to be the easiest this season, given the lack of travel needed between the second and third races.

“(The others) will be a lot tougher because you have got the time zone changes as well and, obviously, the jet lag which goes with it. Here on Monday — or last Monday it is now — I gave everybody the day off and they could do some activities around here. But if you fly from one country to the other one, there is nothing. Your day off is spent on an airplane.”

The four tripleheaders this season come with F1 trying to execute a record 23-race calendar that runs from March to mid-December.

More RACER