‘Triple-headers not ideal but necessary’

Date published: November 13 2020

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Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says throwing in two triple-headers next season may not be “ideal” but it is necessary as the sport heads to 23 venues.

Next season Formula 1 is set to have a bumper schedule, the longest-ever in the sport’s history.

Starting in Australia in March, the calendar includes five double-headers, two triples, a TBC where Vietnam was expected to be and a new race in Saudi Arabia before concluding in Abu Dhabi in December.

It also includes the traditional summer break.

And that, Steiner says, is why the break will be followed by the two triple-headers.

Conceding that they are “by no means are ideal”, he told RaceFans: “I think they are necessary if you want to do 23 races, because we also want to have a few weeks off in August.

“If you want to do that, you just have to live with the downside of doing the triple-headers.”

However, a 23-race scheduled has raised concerns about whether it would be too much of a good thing with fans switching off.

Steiner says he’ll wait to pass judgment on that one.

“I think for them [Liberty Media] it’s better to have more races and they are convinced that the people are not saturated yet,” he saiid. “So let’s see how it goes next year. It’s a good thing to try.

“But we are still living in a very strange world with this corona. So I don’t think we can judge it just as what we say today.”

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The extended calendar means teams will have to reshuffle staff in order to avoid fatigue.

While some teams already don’t send their race weekend squads to the factory, Steiner says that is something Haas is going to have to consider doing.

He added: “What we need to do to manage the people is give them time off when we are not racing. The people at some teams do [this] already, the race team doesn’t come into the factory.

“Something like this we need to start to think about, how can we minimise people going into factories because actually they are not really needed there anymore because the cars fly from one place to the other anyway.

“So it’s a little bit of reshuffling the people we have got. Maybe they work more intense for a shorter period of time and then have a more intense time off, something like this.

“I don’t have all the answers but I think we need to find them and there is a way to find them. But I think if you want to do 23 races, we need to live with triple-headers. It almost cannot be done without it.”

He would also like to see a few two-day race weekends to reduce the strain.

“I think it will be tough and we will need to get organised on it. I think it’s doable,” he said. “Hopefully maybe we can agree to have some races just Saturday and Sunday, a shorter weekend, things like this they would help a lot for what we are doing.

“Especially the second half of the season next year. The first half doesn’t seem to be frightening, the first half, but the second half is a little bit tough with the two triple-headers in a row.”

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