F1’s ‘exhausting’ triple-header likely to be dropped for 2019

Formula 1 teams will likely be spared in 2019 the grueling triple-header schedule they endured this season.

This weekend’s British Grand Prix comes on the back of consecutive races in France and Austria, the successive three-event run extending crews’ physical resources to the max.

An F1 Strategy Group meeting that took place earlier this week addressed the issue, and commercial rights holder Liberty Media said it was reluctant to insert a triple-header into next year’s calendar.

“I think in ’19 from what I understand we’ll have about the same amount of races,” said Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer, according to RaceFans.net.

“The significant difference, I was told recently, is that we won’t have a triple-header. We’ll have some back-to-backs but not three-in-a-row like this year.”

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Racing on three consecutive weekends has evidently taken its toll on teams and crews, both in terms of physical fatigue and logistics. Szafnauer admits the run was more difficult than anticipated.

“It’s the first one we’ve ever had and it’s a bit tiring to go from one to the other to the other,” he said.

“I can see it in the mechanics and the service personnel, they’re pretty much exhausted. I didn’t anticipate it would be this bad.

“People told me beforehand that it was going to be very difficult but I just thought ‘yeah, sure’. But it really is.

“I think the people making the calendar have taken that into consideration for next year and we won’t see a triple header.”

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Williams deputy team principal Clare Williams believes F1 has learned its lesson this year by stretching its human resources.

“The most important thing is the people,” said Williams.

“They put in an enormous effort, and when they’re not able to get home it is a tough thing for them and for their families.

“I don’t believe a triple-header will appear on the calendar again,” she added.

“Maybe we’ve learned our lesson that it is quite a tough gig for everybody.”

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