Domenicali keen to avoid future triple-headers


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

However, last season the need to reschedule the calendar in the wake of the pandemic meant there were four, the last of which - involving the two races in Bahrain and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - rounded off the season.

With no genuine end to the pandemic in sight, the current schedule feature three triple-headers, the most demanding of which sees the F1 circus start out in Russia before heading to Singapore than on to Japan. However, there are likely to be more.

Speaking to journalists this week, F1 boss, Stefano Domenicali admitted that while the necessity to stage X number of races within a limited timeframe currently demands a number of triple-headers, when life returns to 'normal' he is keen to avoid them.

"We need to be more balanced, and I really hope next year, when the situation should be more stable in that respect, we're going to avoid as much as possible the triple-headers because I understand what are the limits," said the Italian.

"Also consider the logistic implications that we have to handle," he continued. "I would say this year, it's a factor that we need to digest, and for the benefit of our business, it was the only way to progress with the objective that we had to achieve this season.

"It is something that is delicate and we need to manage," he admitted, "but we don't have to forget there are people that have lost their jobs, there are people who are suffering a lot, so I think that it is better to put that into perspective.

"I know that it's difficult for all the families and all the people to stay out and work hard, but on the other hand, we need to respect all the people that don't have this opportunity.

"In the short-term this year, that was the only way to try to keep the COVID effect as minimal as possible, because if we would have done more races at the beginning, the risk would have been higher. Therefore that is the reason why we have moved to the second half of the season this situation."

"Multiple triple-headers are not sustainable," said Otmar Szafnauer as last year's third round of triple-headers came to an end. "We're doing them this year, but if I were to tell all the mechanics that this is how it's going to be, going forward, I think they would choose to do something else."

"We had a few months not doing so much in the beginning of the year," added Guenther Steiner, "but doing it going forward as a standard I don't think it's a good idea."

"For the moment, it's fine," said Max Verstappen, "we had a long break before. I don't see this happening... well hopefully, next year where you keep doing triple-headers, I think that's a bit too much.

"If you can make sure it's like two weekends in a row, I think that's okay," he added. "Having a break in between is fine.

"Of course we have to accept it at the moment," he agreed. "We need to get the races in, so we just try to do the best we can."

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Published: 06/02/2021
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