“Exhausted” F1 teams told no triple-header again in 2019

2019 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

Formula 1 will not schedule three races on consecutive weekends again next year as teams reported the strain of the triple-header had left some staff members “exhausted”.

Force India chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer told media including RaceFans the sport has decided not to run three races in a row on the 2019 F1 calendar.

“I think in ’19 from what I understand we’ll have about the same amount of races. The significant difference, I was told recently, is that we won’t have a triple-header. We’ll have some back-to-backs but not three-in-a-row like this year.”

Szafnauer admitted he underestimated the impact the run of three consecutive races would have on the team’s staff.

“It’s the first one we’ve ever had and it’s a bit tiring to go from one to the other to the other,” he said. “I can see it in the mechanics and the service personnel, they’re pretty much exhausted. I didn’t anticipate it would be this bad. People told me beforehand that it was going to be very difficult but I just thought ‘yeah, sure’. But it really is. I think the people making the calendar have taken that into consideration for next year and we won’t see a triple header.”

A significant number of the team’s staff had been affected by the triple-header, said Szafnauer.

“The people who transport this motorhome, for example, they don’t go home. The people who serve us the food, they don’t go home. There’s about 70. That’s a significant number for us, we’re only 400 people, so it’s almost a quarter of the people that experience that extra load. It’s quite a bit.”

Next year’s championship will begin one week earlier and end one week later. The loss of the German Grand Prix could reduce pressure on the number of race weekends but its place could be taken by a planned new race in Miami.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the sport should consider whether fans wanted to see races on three consecutive weekends.

“We should try to avoid this because it’s not only that the teams are challenged with it, we need also to see what the fans think of it,” he said. “[Whether] there is a saturation factor coming in, that no-one is watching a third race in a row every Sunday: you’re just getting over a race, basically.

“We need to see the figures as well after this weekend to see what is coming out of that one. If it’s good or bad for Formula One or maybe everything is the same, but something will come out.”

Steiner said the “intensity” of the triple-header was affecting his team.

“Sometimes people want to go home, see their family. If you have a family and if you’re 30 years old, you have children, you want to see them sometimes and if you keep on working and working that’s not good.

“There are some people who don’t care about that but I think the majority of people have a family and it’s just putting strain on it.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

16 comments on ““Exhausted” F1 teams told no triple-header again in 2019”

  1. Phew. This seems to be hardest on the behind the scenes folks, the ones who can’t afford or aren’t given private jets to whisk them around quickly from home/base/back, so good this year is a one-off.

  2. As a fan I am in favour of triple headers, especially when they’re at convenient times of day like the European races – it keeps a run of excitement going. But I can understand how exhausting it must be for the teams, and I think they should not be done at employees expense – they need time to go home and recuperate. So I won’t be sad that they don’t happen next year.

    1. Sush meerkat
      7th July 2018, 9:05

      You said exactly what I wanted to say.

      Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the sport should consider whether fans wanted to see races on three consecutive weekends.

      Quality not quantity

    2. I rather see some more two consecutive weekends during the year. That would free up some more time for the crews on other weekends.

  3. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    7th July 2018, 9:10

    Makes sense, they are not robots that they can work three weekends in a row.

  4. I’ve quite enjoyed the triple header, it’s nice to have a race to look forward to every weekend. I wouldn’t have thought working three weeks in a row is too hard, I know there’s a lot of pressure involved but it’s no worse than other jobs.

    1. @glynh This is nothing like most jobs that are typically five days on, two days off, 7-8 hours work. A triple header means some of the staff have been working for 19-20 days non stop with travelling and shifts lasting much longer than 7-8 hours a day.

      Listen to what the Team bosses are saying, it’s brutal on some of the support staff!

      1. @ju88sy I’m not saying it’s easy or anything but there’s plenty of jobs that do those hours, I’ve done it a few times this year and it’s just something you get used to.

        I can sympathise with those that are away from their families because obviously it’s the distance as well as the hours but I would think a longer calendar would be more of an issue than a few events close together.

  5. Good. For the sake of the travelling teams, it’s good that this triple-header isn’t set to be repeated in the future. Even for this one-off occasion they could’ve (and rather should’ve) combined this triple-header from three venues all located in the continental-Europe rather than with two continental and one non-continental venue to ease the task of the teams, but oh well, at least they’ll have easier task again next season at this point of the season.

    1. @jerejj Actually three races on continent would have been worse! considering the largest portion of team staff live in the U.K. and many close to Silverstone, they can finish up and be back at home tomorrow evening. Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Sauber are the teams whose staff need to travel further and won’t be home until Monday.

      1. @ju88sy Yes, but if this triple-header was combined from continential-venues only then the travelling from one venue to another would’ve been easier as they wouldn’t have had to travel under the channel, which is why travelling between Red Bull Ring and Silverstone has been stated to be difficult logistically.

  6. good, even as a fan sitting at home i have not enjoyed having 3 consecutive weekend’s of F1. looking forward to a break next weekend so I can actually catch up with friends & spend more time with family.

    been especially bad with the new 1 hour later start times this year.

  7. We took the unique opportunity the triple header offered to plan a road-trip holiday and attend all three races. It’s been a lot of fun and an intense period as a fan to follow F1 and the feeder series. We would definitely attend a double header in the future.

    I have a lot of respect for the team staff who have worked through this intense period, with minimal downtime.

  8. As much as I like this year’s triple header it should’ve been done as Austria-France-UK rather than France-Austria-UK that way it goes in a good smooth line not a criss cross line

  9. Three races in a row was neat, but not worth it if folks are working their heads off!

  10. NASCAR schedule has 36 races throughout the year, covers almost every week-end
    in July they have all week-ends in a series of 9 races back to back with no breaks

Comments are closed.