Norris fears mental health impact of 23-race season

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris

Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly make it clear that their French GP spat is over.

Lando Norris is worried Formula 1 will put the mental health of team personnel in jeopardy with a 23-race calendar.

As expected, there have already been several alterations to the schedule for 2021, one which when it was initially released targeted 23 rounds.

The Singapore Grand Prix is the latest piece of the puzzle to change, but despite its cancellation Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is determined to find a replacement.

“The goal is to understand this week what will be the direction. The goal is to keep the calendar with the number of races scheduled,” he told Sky Italia.

“Then for sure we have to deal with a situation that changes every day. The goal is to make sure the championship goes on, keeping the cadence we planned.”

But Norris, who has become a role model through his courage to speak out about his own mental health issues, fears for the welfare of team members if 23 races do indeed take place.

“F1 are doing more and more and they are going down the right path, but 23 races is not a help towards that,” he said, quoted by The Guardian.

“Twenty three races is tough. The amount of racing is the only thing which can start to impact and take a toll on the team because they don’t get to see their families much, especially with Covid and isolation. For me, that’s one of the biggest things.”

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari Azerbaijan GP 2021
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari Azerbaijan GP 2021

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Back in 2020, McLaren announced a partnership with mental health charity ‘Mind’.

And Norris praised their collaboration, saying it has created the pathway for anyone in the team to come forward with concerns.

“As a team, there is a lot in place now,” he said.

“Not just for us as drivers but for the mechanics, the engineers because they are away from their families a lot. We do a lot with them in order for anyone in the team to come forward and speak to whoever they need to, not thinking they have to stay quiet.”

Additional reporting by Luca Brambilla

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