Kimi warns of mass ‘burnout’ from 2022 calendar

Jamie Woodhouse
Kimi Raikkonen preparing to leave the garage. Austin October 2021

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen believes the 2022 Formula 1 calendar presents a real risk of pushing personnel too far.

The series has returned to its plan for a 23-race schedule, looking to make that happen for 2022 after the 2021 season was reduced to 22 rounds.

And with the 2022 campaign set to be completed in a shorter timeframe, between March and November, the polarising triple-headers are set to return.

The first one, to take place after the summer break, is an all-European affair of the Belgian, Dutch and Italian GPs, as was the case this year.

The second though is more logistically challenging, with Formula 1 set to visit Russia, Singapore and Japan on consecutive weekends.

Raikkonen, of course, will not be affected, since he is retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the season, but for everyone else who remains he worries they will suffer burnout as a result of the demanding calendar.

“It will burn out a lot of people and this won’t be good for anyone,” said Raikkonen of the 2022 triple-headers, quoted by GPFans.

“So I think maybe as a spectator, it’s nice having a lot of races but the people that actually do most of the work, it’s very difficult for them.

“There has to be some kind of better way to go about that. For some teams, it’s just not an option to just hire more people because they don’t have the money to hire. It’s a bit tricky.”

Kimi Raikkonen in the Alfa Romeo garage. Qatar November 2021

As the most experienced driver on the Formula 1 grid, Raikkonen has raced through the expansion of Formula 1’s calendar, all the way from his debut campaign in 2001 when there were only 17 races.

The drivers did, though, do a lot of testing in between races back then, so the schedule for them was still demanding – arguably as much as it is now in Raikkonen’s view.

But of course there were no triple-headers in Formula 1 until 2018, a concept that proved very unpopular with the teams at the time.

However, they returned for 2020 and 2021 as a means of getting through the races in pandemic times.

 

On the theory of Formula 1’s schedule being easier in the earlier stages of Raikkonen’s career, he said: “There was testing between the races, so I think more races is actually better than going racing then testing for a couple of days and then going to the next race.

“So I don’t think it was any easier in that way. There was less racing.

“I’ve been home between all of the races, so obviously it has only been two days but I enjoyed the time there and I don’t really have issues with jet-lag.

“Obviously with the mechanics, with a lot of people, they are doing long days.”

 

Kimi Raikkonen warns against F1 burnout

Kimi Raikkonen thinks a 23-race F1 calendar will have a negative effect on staff members, and burnout will become an increasing factor in the sport.