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F1 warned of 'so much headwind' with continued calendar expansion

F1 will hit a record-breaking 24 grands prix this year.

Domenicali 2023
Interview
To news overview © XPBimages

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has been warned he could face a backlash if he continues to expand the calendar.

The sport sets a new record this year with 24 grands prix stretched over nine-and-a-half months. When Fernando Alonso started in F1 in 2001, there were just 17, underlining the expansion that has taken place over the past two decades.

The continued growth has pushed teams to breaking point, with the health and well-being of all travelling personnel firmly on the agenda.

Although F1 has continually been admonished for adding more races, it has continued undaunted, although it has been suggested that saturation point has been reached.

Former Haas team principal Guenther Steiner does not feel Domenicali would go beyond the current 24 otherwise it would result in a concerted stance against it.

"I don't think there is a big plan (to expand again) because he would get so much headwind if he put more races on," said Steiner, in an interview with RacingNews365.

"And Stefano is a very smart guy. He doesn't look for problems, he sorts out problems and then makes the next step.

"At the moment, it (the calendar) needs stabilising at 24 because there are not only 24 races, there are also six sprint events, so in total 30 races, and I think that's a pretty good amount of races over a year."

Making it liveable

For a team like Haas, with only finite resources and which is considerably smaller in terms of staff numbers compared to the likes of Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari, managing the 30 races poses problems.

Before he departed from Haas at the end of last year, Steiner confirmed plans were being put in place for the team to cope with the added stress and strain of a record-breaking year.

"Last year, we started to prepare, to get ready for it," said Steiner. "You just need to do the best you can.

"Obviously, the big teams have a lot more for their people, which they can give them to make it more sustainable at 24 races.

"Nevertheless, at Haas last year, a lot of people worked hard in making it more comfortable for the people who would have to do 24 races. You try to do your best for the people with what you have.

"Obviously if you've got more financially, you can do more, if you've got less, you still try to do the best. It's never that you ignore people. That was always on our mind. You try to make it as liveable as possible."

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