Wolff: F1 rules should ensure staff rotation to ease calendar pressure

Toto Wolff believes Formula 1's regulations should require teams to rotate staff members to ease the pressure and human cost of the growing calendar.

Wolff: F1 rules should ensure staff rotation to ease calendar pressure

F1 is set to unveil its 2022 calendar next week, featuring a record 23 races across a period of just over eight months.

While the move has been welcomed by some for the regular action it will provide fans and ability to race in more markets, concerns have been raised about the personal cost it will have on those working in F1.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel warned that F1 must not "neglect" its responsibility to people working in the paddock, and that the series need to "be very careful where we want to put our interests".

Speaking to Autosport in an interview to mark World Mental Health Day on 10 October, Mercedes F1 boss Wolff said the human cost and mental health impact of a 23-race season was something "we have to tackle".

ANALYSIS: How F1 teams look after their mental health

"I think as much as we want to race around the globe, and we want to provide a great show in really good destinations, and make sure that the sport is growing in terms of audiences, footprint and commercial revenue, we also need to see what toll it takes on the people," Wolff said.

"Twenty-three races, with triple-headers, is something that takes a toll.

"Now you can adopt the old-style mentality, and say 'well, be happy that you are in Formula 1, and if you can't cope, then do something else', which is totally contrary to how I operate.

"We need to create an environment where it becomes sustainable. We don't want to reduce races, I'm absolutely with Stefano [Domenicali] there."

Wolff felt there was a need to ensure staff rotation so that not every team member did every single race. While more and more teams have been rotating staff in some departments in recent years, he believed it could be written into the regulations to ensure it happens.

"From 23 races, being able to take five out makes a huge difference for every individual that is in the sport," Wolff said.

"We need to come up with some kind of regulatory environment and say how many races can someone attend, and have a rotational quota."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, celebrates pole on arrival in Parc Ferme

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, celebrates pole on arrival in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Wolff also believed that greater rotation would help teams to give more opportunities to young talent coming through their ranks.

"We all have junior people in the organisations that we are bringing up that maybe haven't been in the frontline, or in the hot seat," Wolff said.

"If it's the same for everybody, it will also help people to be exposed to the high pressure environment of the race track, on the field, rather than just working in the background.

"If you know that everybody has to do it, and everybody has to develop the younger people, I think that's a tremendous initiative."

Wolff acknowledged that he and other senior management in F1 were not in the "target group" for any potential rotation, but felt those with a say in forming the rulebook had a responsibility to make working in the series more sustainable for their employees.

"You need to look at the hard-working people out there," Wolff said. "These are the mechanics and the technical people from FOM and the FIA, they arrive three days earlier, the travelling and accommodation is not always the standard of the management.

"And they have high-pressure jobs. Mistakes can mean a DNF, or pit stops that are not going great. It comes down to the individual.

"We need to provide a more sustainable environment for all of these people. We are sitting at the table and we can influence that. We have to do it for their benefit."

shares
comments

Related video

Ricciardo to take Turkish GP grid drop after F1 engine change
Previous article

Ricciardo to take Turkish GP grid drop after F1 engine change

Next article

Schumacher never doubted he could shine in F1 after making Turkey Q2

Schumacher never doubted he could shine in F1 after making Turkey Q2
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
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

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
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