Horner leads the call for changes to Las Vegas schedule


Claiming that the Vegas weekend left everyone "slightly f*****", Christian Horner leads the way on calls for changes to the weekend's schedule.

As if things weren't bad enough, what with the promoter - F1 itself - seeking a midnight start for FP2 and qualifying, the situation was further complicated by the delay to Thursday's second practice session and the fact that just days later the sport is 12 time zones away in Abu Dhabi.

Next year however, the schedule is even tougher, with Las Vegas the first event in a triple-header that then heads to Qatar and Abu Dhabi.

"As a first off, of course, there are going to be many lessons to learn," said Horner of last weekend's punishing schedule. "One of the things to look at is the running schedule because it has been brutal for the team and all the men and women behind the scenes.

"Everybody is leaving Vegas slightly f***ed," he added. "One way or another it has been a brutal weekend for everyone behind the scenes, and I think we need to look at how we can improve that for the future.

"I think run it a little earlier in the evening because you are never going to keep every television audience totally happy," he continued. "This is an American race. If you run it at 8pm in the evening or something like that it would just be a bit more comfortable for the men and women working behind the scenes."

"If we have to improve, it's perhaps the timing," said Ferrari boss, Frederic Vasseur, according to Motorsport.com. "It's not an easy one to find, if you want to have a decent timing for Asia, Europe, East Coast, West Coast.

"In the past, we had no issue because F1 was just for the European people, and we had to stick to the European timing, and it was okay. Now it's a worldwide project, and it's much more difficult to find something fitting with the expectations of the 24-hour zone. But we will adjust it."

"Certainly, we would support that," agreed AlphaTauri CEO, Peter Bayer. "I don't know all the background and why it has been done. But I have a bit of experience, coming from the FIA, and knowing how difficult it was for Formula E in many cities. Closing down the streets has a massive impact on the people living here.

"We'll have to review everything, and see how we can improve," he admitted. "I spoke to a couple of our guys, some of them actually quickly found the rhythm. I had a bad day on the second day, I thought I'm not going to make it! But then suddenly you're into it.

"Obviously, now we're going to fly to the other end of the world. And it will turn us upside down. But at the same time, it was worth it."

However, it wasn't only team bosses who were unhappy with the punishing schedule.

"No way! That does not have my vote!" said Daniel Ricciardo when told of 2024's triple-header. "They need to bring the times forward, because we'll be wrecked, especially at the end of the season. I've done six races and even I feel it. Hopefully they can make something work there."

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Published: 22/11/2023
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