Ver­stap­pen: me­chan­ics can file for di­vorce if sea­son swells to 25 races

The National - News - - SPORT -

When For­mula One re­turns in 2020, there will be a record 22 races on the sched­ule – and re­newed con­cerns about the de­mands be­ing placed on those who keep the trav­el­ling cir­cus on the road.

The sched­ule has lost Ger­many but is ex­pand­ing with the ad­di­tion of Viet­nam and the re­turn af­ter a long ab­sence of Dutch cir­cuit Zandvoort.

Ul­ti­mately, com­mer­cial rights hold­ers Lib­erty Me­dia want to struc­ture the cal­en­dar so they can ac­com­mo­date a max­i­mum of 25 races.

“I know they want to make money, but they also have to think about the me­chan­ics who rock up to the track,” Red Bull’s 22-year-old Dutch driver Max Ver­stap­pen said this year when asked about the ex­pan­sion. “They can file for a di­vorce straight away if there’s go­ing to be more.”

Over the past decade, For­mula One has spread its wings far be­yond its Euro­pean heart­land and added lu­cra­tive races in Asia and the Mid­dle East. Of the 17 races in the 2000 sea­son, only six were out­side Europe. Next year, 13 of the 22 races will be long-haul “fly­aways”.

“We care deeply about it,” For­mula One chief ex­ec­u­tive Chase Carey, ap­pointed af­ter US-based Lib­erty took over the sport in 2017, said when asked about the toll such a long sea­son takes on teams at the fi­nal race in Abu Dhabi.

“Ul­ti­mately, the jobs of the peo­ple come from hav­ing a healthy sport.

“We need to make the sport healthy but try to do it in a way that is very cog­nisant of the pres­sure and the wear and tear.

Race week­ends are set to be short­ened by a day from 2021, run­ning from Fri­day to Sun­day in­stead of the cur­rent Thurs­day start.

The manda­tory cur­few, dur­ing which per­son­nel who work on the car are not al­lowed to en­ter the cir­cuit, is set to get longer.

McLaren driver Car­los Sainz said he was against fur­ther ex­pan­sion when asked about the move to a three-day week­end.

“That last ex­tra day that we take off doesn’t fully com­pen­sate those 22/25 races that we want to have in the fu­ture,” said the Spaniard.

Car­los Sainz said he was against ex­pan­sion when asked about the move to a three-day week­end

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