The 2020 Formula One season is in full swing and what once seemed a bleak prospect has already provided three exciting races and we have more to come. However, to enable a Formula 1 season being restarted in the first place, the revised calendar inevitably became incredibly congested. As a result, triple headers have featured prominently in the schedule and this has done no harm to McLaren’s point scoring ambition seeing how the constructor sits third in the table on 41 points. Nevertheless, McLaren’s Team Principal Andreas Seidl has announced that triple-header races must not become the new standard in any other seasons. Instead 2020 should be an exception and not the rule.
Already this season we have seen signs of the exertion experienced by teams throughout the pitlane. On average, across all three races, pitstops appear to be longer than previously (when discounting Mercedes’ 2019 German GP effort) as human error creeps in. Speaking of human error, Max Verstappen blotted his copybook as a result of spinning out in Hungary on his way to the grid which made extra work for his heroic engineers. Such events are hardly a shock because with such a compressed timeline in such a high-pressure environment – business is far from usual.
Andreas Seidl’s comments, which were shared through motorsport.com , are timely indeed seeing how F1 embarks on its second of three (with maybe more to come) triple headers this weekend.
“We’re going now into the triple-header with these two races in the UK, which is obviously for the UK teams is not as bad as for some other teams,” said Seidl. “At least we have the possibility to arrive at the track as late as possible with only a short travel, and having a break between these two Silverstone races.”
Much was already said that the double races in Austria would benefit Red Bull Racing – although that was not the case. Now, many critics claim Scuderia Ferrari and other non-UK based teams will also be at a disadvantage. However, there will not be long to argue the fact seeing how after the Spanish Grand Prix...another triple header will soon present itself. This is a fact Seidl is all too aware of.
“Then we go into another triple-header, and then at the moment I think on the schedule there is another triple-header later on, which I think then is tough. Given the special circumstances we are in this year, it’s something we simply have to get through this year.
“But at the same time, this cannot be the new standard going forward also in future seasons.”
Unprecedented times require unprecedented decision making – hence the 2020 F1 Calendar which we have so far. However, if we recall Lewis Hamilton’s infamous words ‘cash is king’ then one can’t help but wonder whether Liberty Media would be tempted to congest the calendar again in future seasons. Andreas Seidl is clear on any such suggestion.
“I don’t think that the biggest challenge is actually the work we have to do out here at the track...It’s also tough work, but I think the biggest issue is being away from the families and the kids and so on, for each team member.”
“Going through this first triple-header after this long break we had, I think it’s also not the biggest challenge yet. We need to be aware that the longer we go now in the season, especially the triple-headers that are coming later on, that will be a big challenge for the team.
“What we do from a team side is try to make travelling, accommodation, and everything we can provide to the team here at the track and back at the hotels as comfortable as possible and as good as possible, simply to get through as a team in the best possible shape.”
‘The end justifies the means’ and ‘needs must’ are two phrases which could easily be assigned to the format of the 2020 F1 Calendar.
Andreas Seidl is clear in his opinion that this season had to happen for teams to survive and also hopes such an effort can be maintained throughout this historical Formula One season.
“At the same time, I think everyone inside the team understands that this is a special season, under special circumstances after this virus broke out. We all understand also that it is absolutely necessary for the existence of the teams that we do these races this year.
“I simply hope that with everything we do together with the team, having an open ear also, listening to where the problems are within the team or each team member, and we hopefully manage to get through in a sustainable way.”
Viewing figures are high for the 2020 F1 season and the fans unable to attend the races are clearly tuning in. Time will tell as to what approach Liberty Media chooses to take with future triple headers following much off track discussion. Thankfully, we have plenty of time to enjoy on track action...just spare a thought for the pit crew when watching the race from the comfort of your home.
We all know why this season had to happen in this way and we certainly hope it never happens again.
Meanwhile, Mercedes are worried about the weather https://www.motorlat.com/notas/f1/16278/f1-james-allison-wonders-if-the-w11-may-get-too-hot-to-handle