Mick Schumacher has described F1's Azerbaijan-Canada double header as "crazy" with teams having been left with just days to complete the near-9,000 kilometre trip. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has been positioned back-to-back with the Baku City Circuit twice since Azerbaijan joined the calendar in 2016. That allows teams only a matter of days to pack up important cargo and deliver it across the Atlantic Ocean, where it must be unpacked and readied in Montreal in time for FP1 the following Friday. “For everybody, not just for us drivers, it’s a tough journey," explained Schumacher, looking ahead to the weekend. "We go from one continent to another within a few days, which is crazy that it is that way, but that’s how it is and everyone has to handle it. "I’m sure once everyone gets back to Europe, it will be slightly less stressful to get cars ready, pack up to leave a track and try to make it to the next race. "It’s just more of a rhythm when we get to Europe but it’s still a huge amount of stress - albeit less than going from Azerbaijan to Canada.”
2022 could be last time Baku and Montreal are paired
Schumacher will be pleased to learn that 2022 could be the final season in which races in Baku and Montreal are paired. F1 chief Stefano Domenicali is understood to be looking to regionalise the calendar, starting in 2023. It is felt that Canada would be better placed grouped with races such as Miami and Austin. RacingNews365.com understands that there are plans to push the Austin race forward to May with the new race in Las Vegas set to be around October time. Meanwhile, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola does not currently align with the European stint of the season. A plan to move it later in the year would prevent teams from flying from the Middle East to Australia, only to fly back over the Middle East to Europe for just one race before heading across the Atlantic to Miami. Doing so would reduce the sport's carbon footprint dramatically, at a time when Formula 1 is talking up big plans to go carbon neutral by 2030.
Schumacher excited for first Montreal race
Despite his complaints about the trip from Baku to Montreal, Schumacher only has fond memories of a circuit where he grew up watching his father, Michael, race. “I’ve been to Montreal maybe once or twice as a child, aged 11 or 12," he said. "I remember it was fun to go and visit because it was so different to all the other race tracks I’d been to before and you have the groundhogs running around which is quite fun. "As a kid, I was fishing out the back of the Mercedes garage and I actually caught a few – I built the hook myself from the office stationery – and eventually we bought a little fishing rod. "I also remember asking if I could go onto the grid, and the team said only if I made a cake. I baked a cake, did the frosting and once I gave it to them, I got the grid pass! I have good memories from Canada." He continued: "I haven’t driven there yet but I’ve driven on the simulator so I’m just excited to go. A lot of crazy races have happened there in the past so I’m sure this year will be an interesting one too.”