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Triple-headers cannot become the new standard, warns Seidl

NEWS STORY
27/07/2020

Following the triple-header of 2018, which saw the French, Austrian and British rounds held on consecutive weekends, the teams collectively sighed "never again".

However, as the pandemic continues to turn everything on its head, having already held one triple-header, we now head into another with at least one more to follow that.

Keen to get the season back on track - not to mention the money flowing into the coffers -there hasn't been a peep from the teams as F1 bosses continue to try to cram as many races as possible into the remaining months of the year.

As we previously warned, the teams appear to be shooting themselves in the foot, for since taking control of the sport in 2017 its new owners have made no secret of their desire to expand the calendar as more races mean more money.

In another canny move, though the exact details have yet to be announced, another proposal previously pushed by F1 bosses appears to have gained access through the back door marked 'corona' as the forthcoming race at Imola - the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - will be a two day event.

McLaren boss, Andreas Seidl, having noticed the writing on the wall, has warned that triple-headers must not become the new standard for the sport.

"We're going now into the triple-header with these two races in the UK, which, obviously for the UK teams, is not as bad as for some other teams," he told Autosport. "At least we have the possibility to arrive at the track as late as possible with only a short travel, and having a break between these two Silverstone races.

"Then we go into another triple-header, and then at the moment I think on the schedule there is another triple-header later on, which I think then is tough. Given the special circumstances we are in this year, it's something we simply have to get through this year. But at the same time, this cannot be the new standard going forward also in future seasons.

"I don't think that the biggest challenge is actually the work we have to do out here at the track," he continued. "It's tough work, but I think the biggest issue is being away from the families and the kids and so on, for each team member.

"Going through this first triple-header after this long break we had, I think it's also not the biggest challenge yet. We need to be aware that the longer we go now in the season, especially the triple-headers that are coming later on, that will be a big challenge for the team.

"What we do from a team side is try to make travelling, accommodation, and everything we can provide to the team here at the track and back at the hotels as comfortable as possible and as good as possible, simply to get through as a team in the best possible shape. At the same time, I think everyone inside the team understands that this is a special season, under special circumstances after this virus broke out. We all understand also that it's absolutely necessary for the existence of the teams that we do these races this year.

"I simply hope that with everything we do together with the team, having an open ear also, listening to where the problems are within the team or each team member, and we hopefully manage to get through in a sustainable way."

Of course, with F1 bosses aware how bad the financial situation was becoming a few months back, the prospect of cancelling the entire season looming large, necessitating 'moving' $1.4bn from the Liberty SiriusXM Group to the Formula One Group in order to give the sport some breathing space, they will be keen to build some healthy cash reserves going forward.

The best way to do that, of course, is to hold more races, and the ability to run triple-headers comprising two-day weekends provides the means.

Next up, reverse grids and qualifying races.

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