Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Six F1 races in seven weeks raises concerns over spare parts

2020 F1 season

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F1 teams have expressed concerns they could run out of spare parts when the season begins with an unprecedented run of six races in seven weeks.

The championship is expected to announce it will begin its delayed 2020 F1 season on July 5th at the Red Bull Ring. This will be the first of two races at the track in as many weekends.

The championship will then move on to the Hungaroring. Following a one-week break, it will hold two races at Silverstone, then a further round at the Circuit de Catalunya.

This will be the most races F1 has ever held in a seven-week period. The sport has only held three races on consecutive weekends once before, in 2018, though those were all at different venues.

RaceFans understands some teams are concerned they may be at risk of running out of spare parts if their cars are damaged in multiple incidents.

Teams have had little time to build stockpiles of spares for their new cars as their factories have been closed for more than two months, following the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix.

The problem could be aggravated by the fact teams will race twice at the Red Bull Ring, which features high ‘sausage kerbs’ at several corners which have damaged cars on previous visits. The possibility of holding additional ‘qualifying races’ at some rounds, increasing the potential for damage, is a further concern.

However one team contacted by RaceFans said it expects to be able to produce sufficient parts while taking into account the possibility of changes to the race weekend format.

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 25 comments on “Six F1 races in seven weeks raises concerns over spare parts”

    1. Fatigue of team personale and staff is also a major concern for such tight schedule.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        2nd June 2020, 7:41

        Less travel will offset that (partially or in full).

        1. @coldfly Yes, and there’d be even further less travel if the days of Montmelo and Spa would get swapped so that the latter would have its race seven days after the second Silverstone-race while the former would form a double-header with Monza since Spa is far closer to Silverstone than Montmelo while the latter is closer to Monza. Under the circumstances, they should maximize the minimizing of travelling to the max.

          1. Even after that there are 6 events including crossing of English channel and Alps in case of Italian GP.

        2. @coldfly yeah but under what circumstances? travelling is going to be a lot more stressful now…

          1. ColdFly (@)
            2nd June 2020, 9:15

            travelling is going to be a lot more stressful now…

            Only commercial air traffic, @fer-no6. But I understand that they’ll fly charter to Austria.
            Roads are empty; trains are empty; hotels don’t have loud holidaymakers clogging the breakfast buffet. I’ve got quite a few (financially secure) friends in Europe who enjoyed the less hectic times.

      2. I wouldn’t say it’s major. They’re only going around Europe. I mean it’s not…Montreal to Baku. Or Melbourne to UK, to Manama to Shanghai to Sochi.

        I would also assume that the reduced staff numbers allowed on site would mean bigger teams have to rotate who can attend which Grands Prix.

    2. It wont be stressful from the Red Bull Ring to the Hungaroring in Hungary is only 419 Km ie. 4hrs 36mins for the truckers.

      So two weeks no travel in Austria then a short road trip to Hungary. Then a week off before two weeks at Silverstone, five races into their season already. They will love it after all the lockdown.

      1. 6 races in 6 weeks really.

        1. Not sure how I managed to make this a reply to you dex that was not meant.

    3. What about the Marshals and all essential track personnel? I take it that all the Marshals for Austria will be Austrians and that all the Marshals for Silverstone will be from the UK, but where are they supposed to stay? Are they expected to attend the first race, leave the track afterwards and then return for the following Friday or stay (camping?) all week?
      If there is an incident and they have to work closely with a car and driver (less than two metres) do they become at risk and have to isolate? I suppose that they will have to masked and gloved at all times as well.
      I take it that there will be no support races, will there?

      1. Re “I take it that there will be no support races, will there?”
        That’s an interesting question. I was under the impression the support races would be run, at least for the (first?) Austrian GP. Presumably that means everyone associated with those series would be tested regularly too.

        1. The race at Spielberg 3-5 July is still on the calendar of F2. @nickwyatt @drycrust
          But so are the following rounds which don’t coincide with F1 (yet)

      2. @NickWyatt

        I take it that there will be no support races, will there?

        F2 and F3 will support it; not heard back from Porsche on the Supercup yet:

        https://www.racefans.net/2020/06/02/f1-officially-confirms-first-eight-races-for-start-of-2020-season/

        1. @coldfly @drycrust @keithcollantine
          Well that’s a bit of a surprise then because that means there will be sixty+ cars and all their associated personnel in the paddock(s) which is going to make any kind of social distancing very difficult to control or police. I also assume that driver briefings will take place by Zoom or similar.

          1. @nickwyatt I too was surprised when it was first mentioned because I couldn’t recall any mention of this in March or April and even in early May. Then I saw an article on Racefans on 11th May saying those series were going to be racing at the same venue on the same weekend as F1.
            Regarding the driver briefings, social distancing, testing of people, etc, you raise a good point. To my knowledge there’s been very little reported in the media about what is expected from the support races and their personnel, so we will all find out when they get there.
            There is the question of what the Austrian Government was told and who would be coming. I suppose Formula One’s representatives said “F1 and their supporting races” or such like.

    4. The possibility of holding additional ‘qualifying races’ at some rounds, increasing the potential for damage, is a further concern.

      I guess I missed something, but why are people thinking of having Qualifying Races when the schedule is packed like sardines in a can and spare parts could be in short supply? Are Qualifying Races expected to reduce the risk of damage to cars? That comment suggests this isn’t so. Surely the wise thing to do is to want to minimise the risk of damage to cars to just races. One possible way of reducing the risk of cars being damaged is they do away with Qualifying for the second race at a race track and instead use the fastest lap time of a car during the first race for deciding the order of the starting grid or the race result of the first race for deciding the staring grid at the second race.

      1. Another way to reduce the risk of damage is to not race at all, or only run single car time trials…

        Damage is part of racing. If they can’t/don’t want to make enough parts to allow for risky driving, then the drivers need to be more careful and take less risks.

      2. Isn’t there a suggestion that the second races have reversed grids? That would be awful.

    5. Problems producing and getting spare parts could be a problem, especially if there were reverse grids. Maybe not so much for the bigger teams, but certainly for the smaller ones who are under financial pressure already.

    6. Extrs parts list:
      A couple of chassis for Grosjean.
      A couple of rear wings for Ocon and the same number of front wings for Verstappen.
      Two steering wheels and a pair of gloves for Raikkonen.

      And some kind of spiritual protection for Ricciardo against bad vibes. He’ll need it, I think… :○)

    7. I am pretty sure all Teams are itchin to go racing. Better a tight schedule than no schedule at all. Might see Team Principals tell drivers to take it easy in 1st corner. If that means more cars racing at the finish then all the better. So lets all stop looking for bad points in this schedule and just get behind it.

    8. I guess drivers that crash less will be more successful?

    9. Duct tape should fix that issue.

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