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F1 sicknesses spotlight ‘unsustainable’ toll of 2024 calendar

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Because the 2023 marketing campaign concluded with the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix working back-to-back with the season finale within the Center East – forcing folks to beat a 12-hour time distinction in three days – drivers, staff personnel and championship workers had been coming down with illness at Yas Marina.

Though a 24-round schedule for subsequent yr has already been launched, with China reinstated for the primary time since 2019, there may be pressure for Vegas to break away from the Qatar and Abu Dhabi curtain call to permit some respite on the finish of what would be the longest season in championship historical past.

Russell says the fatigue and sicknesses on the finish of the present 22-race time period proves how unsustainable it’s for staff personnel to decide to a full calendar subsequent yr and that limits ought to be imposed.

“The drivers, we’ve it greatest from each single individual on this paddock,” he stated. “The best way we journey, we’re in a really lucky place.

“However everyone up and down the paddock, I’ve bought so many mechanics who’re ailing, folks within the engineers’ workplace, simply actually fighting the fixed time zone shifts, the physique not understanding the place you might be, consuming at totally different occasions, staying in numerous resorts, totally different environments, totally different climates.

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“The physique’s getting confused. There are talks for subsequent yr about personnel being regulated that they can not do each single race. I believe that might be a great factor.

“I do not suppose it is sustainable for 4,000 folks to do 24 races a season, particularly once you see how geographically it nonetheless does not make an enormous quantity of sense.”

Whereas F1 groups do work to rotate personnel, the 2021 introduction of an FIA value cap has naturally led groups to restrict their workforce, in flip proscribing the diploma to which workers can swap out and in.

Picture by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG, third place, celebrates on the rostrum

Russell additionally recounted his “depressing” Abu Dhabi GP outing since he was battling a “horrendous cough” whereas strapped aboard the Mercedes W14 on his strategy to a podium end.

He revealed: “I used to be most likely coughing 4 occasions a lap then, so it was fairly depressing on the market.

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“I’ve been actually ailing the final two weeks. Firstly in Vegas with a giant fever – I could not sleep and simply felt terrible. After which I’ve had a horrendous cough that stayed with me all week and within the automotive.

“I used to be coughing each single lap however once you’re strapped into the automotive, you’ll be able to’t breathe.

“You possibly can’t take a deep breath in to get the cough out. So, it was simply consistently with me.”

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