F1’s end of season schedule is "strange", says Alonso

Fernando Alonso thinks Formula 1’s end of season schedule choice this year is "strange", and has left team mechanics and staff "on the limit".

F1’s end of season schedule is "strange", says Alonso

F1 is heading to its second race of the Mexico-Brazil-Qatar triple header this weekend, with series chiefs having elected to go for an ambitious inter-continental three events on the bounce.

With the travel and strain at this end of the season pushing the stamina of F1 personnel to the edge, Alonso suggests that it is a bit weird to have had a two-week gap between the United States and Mexico, and then go for the three consecutive races.

“This triple header is not the most convenient,” explained the Alpine driver before he left Mexico.

“Every race is separated by 12 hours [on a] plane or something like that. And we have to race three consecutive weekends.

“It's important for the team, for the mechanics to save energy. They are in the garage, packing everything, they will finish late, they will take a plane, arrive in Brazil, and they will pack everything and mount the garage. So it is on the limit for them, for sure.

“Hopefully we find better solutions for the calendar, because Austin is one hour and a half from Mexico. And we were two weeks ago in Austin.

“It feels strange that some races are separated two weeks and some of the races that are in another continent they are back-to-back.”

While the decision to have a long gap between Austin and Mexico does appear unusual, it was originally done that way because of concerns over travel restrictions due to the COVID pandemic.

At the time the schedule was set, both Mexico and Brazil were on the UK’s red lists of countries that required mandatory quarantine on return, something that could have proved troublesome for teams.

By hosting Brazil and Mexico back-to-back, with Qatar afterwards, it meant F1 personnel could have avoided the quarantine restriction by the time they returned from the Middle East.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, in the pits

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, in the pits

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

In the end, the UK ditched the red zone restrictions so F1 teams would have had no problem returning to the UK after Mexico or Brazil.

The challenges of the current calendar come amid F1’s bid to increase the schedule in the future, something that has caused a fair deal of unease in certain sections of the paddock.

Read Also:

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll is one who thinks it important F1 considers down time for staff, and does not just push on in adding on races without caring about consequences.

“I understand there's a motive financially to increase the number of races and expand the sport,” he said.

“But I think there has to be a balance thinking of the mechanics, the engineers, and all of the personnel in Formula 1, that have families at home, that travel around the world and dedicate a lot of their times to go racing.

“I think there still has to be a balance where F1 takes a break and gives a chance to people to go home, see their families, spend some time doing other things, and then we come back and we take racing very seriously.

“I don't think it should become out-of-hand ridiculous 25 race calendar seasons. It looks like it's heading that way, but I think that F1 should also think about the personnel, and their families.”

shares
comments

Related video

The gamesmanship warning over F1’s potentially title-deciding moments
Previous article

The gamesmanship warning over F1’s potentially title-deciding moments

Next article

Formula 1 records: Which F1 records could be broken in 2021?

Formula 1 records: Which F1 records could be broken in 2021?
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022