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Toto Wolff

Wolff suggests making crew rotation mandatory as calendar expands

Mercedes' Toto Wolff has suggested that Formula 1 should look at making the rotation of team personnel mandatory, if the calendar continues to grow.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has suggested that Formula 1 could look at making the rotation of team personnel mandatory during a season, if the calendar continues to grow.

With F1 set to have its busiest ever season in 2022 with 23 Grand Prix weekends and an increased number of Sprint Qualifying events, it means that many personnel with the teams are away from home for weeks, if not months, on end.

The obvious repercussions on personal lives has led to mutterings about how to address the situation, given that the Concorde Agreement allows for up to 25 Grand Prix weekends – almost half the number of weekends in a year.

At the moment, the introduction of a mandatory budget cap means that teams are not financially in a position to rotate crews or to use relief crews during the season.

But Wolff believes this could be a way for the headache to be solved, and said that the newly-appointed Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is probably the man best equipped to recognise the challenges being faced by the teams as the Italian was the former team boss at Scuderia Ferrari until 2014.

"I think that we have the best man in charge to balance between income and workload with Stefano, and he has been on the other side running a team. He has been involved in the logistics in his early days," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"He knows the strain on the people and that strain is enormous, particularly on the mechanics that need to be there much earlier, take the garage down, not always travelling as comfortably as all of us, and that needs to be taken into consideration.

"We have a rotational scheme in there already to get a little bit of the pressure off, but I believe that, maybe, we can come up with some innovative thinking and make rotation mandatory, if it is within what we can afford."

Wolff said that the situation as it stands sees the senior staff being pushed to their limits, due to the demands of the competition, with the more junior staff eager but lacking the crucial experience without the safety net of supervision.

"We have a lot of young engineers in every area that are not yet on the battlefield life, because there is a senior there that is the best in the group," he said.

"But maybe that's an opportunity and actually putting them in the hot seat and putting a ceiling on to the race attendance.

"Whatever it is, maybe we take 20 races and there's three races that you need to bring somebody else in, but obviously that the detail lies in the devil (sic).

"But similarly, what I've said before on young drivers, that could be an attempt to reduce the strain on particularly mechanics, all the people that work in logistics, and the engineers."

Lewis Hamilton claimed his 100th Grand Prix win to move into the championship lead, but it's Red Bull and Max Verstappen who will be happiest after the Russian Grand Prix.

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