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George Russell

Russell calls for ban to be imposed on F1 staff in 2024

The Mercedes driver has been carrying a fever in recent weeks as F1 has hopped around the globe with a run of seven races in nine weeks.

Russell US
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell has called for a ban on paddock personnel from completing all 24 planned races in the 2024 season.

Formula 1 was set for 24 races in 2023, but the Chinese and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix were ultimately cancelled, although F1 bosses are keen to add as many races as possible onto the calendar.

This has led to an increase in triple-headers and huge timezone shifts with the United States-Mexico City-Sao Paulo races being back-to-back-to-back while the season-finale in Abu Dhabi was part of a double-header with Las Vegas.

The unfriendly nature of Las Vegas for European TV viewers meant the race timings were not ideal for drivers or teams, with a 12-hour timezone shift endured for personnel travelling to both events.

Both China and Imola are expected to return in 2024, meaning a record-breaking 24-race schedule, with six Sprints added.

The final three races are a Las Vegas-Qatar-Abu Dhabi triple-header with Russell calling on rules to be introduced to prevent personnel, drivers aside, from travelling to each Grand Prix.

Russell calls for ban

"The drivers, we have it the best from every single person in this paddock," Russell told media including RacingNews365.

"The way we travel, we're in a very fortunate position, but everybody up and down the paddock - I've got so many mechanics who are ill, people in the engineers’ office, just really struggling with the constant time zone shifts, the body not knowing where you are, eating at different times, staying in different hotels, different environments, different climates.

"The body's getting confused. I think there are talks for next year about personnel being regulated that they can't do every single race.

"I think that would be a good thing. I don't think it's sustainable for 4,000 people to do 24 races a season, especially when you see how geographically it still doesn't make a huge amount of sense."

Russell has been carrying a fever for the past couple of weeks, and revealed how it affected him during his run to third in Abu Dhabi.

"I’ve been really ill the last two weeks. Firstly, in Vegas with a big fever, I couldn't sleep and just felt awful," he said.

"Then I've had a horrendous cough that stayed with me all week in the car. I was coughing every single lap but when you're strapped into the car, you can't breathe.

"You can't take a deep breath in to get the cough out. So, it was just constantly with me. It was pretty, pretty miserable. So, I was pleased to bring it home when I saw that chequered flag."

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F1 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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