Sergio Perez, McLaren, Monte-Carlo, 2013

22 races, triple-header weekends possible – McLaren

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sergio Perez, McLaren, Monte-Carlo, 2013Formula One teams could cope with a triple-header weekend and a 22-race schedule according to McLaren’s sporting director Sam Michael.

The FIA’s proposed 2014 F1 calendar includes 22 races with three on consecutive weekends in Monaco, New Jersey and Canada.

Asked if F1 teams could cope with the logistical demands of racing on three weekends in a row, Michael said: “We’ll just need to adapt if that’s what’s required.”

“Obviously we can do a double-header so once you do a double-header you can do a triple-header, can’t you?”

Speaking during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in, Michael said the biggest challenge would be fatigue among the team’s personnel.

“Equipment and planes and things don’t get tired, people do,” he said. “So it means that you have to consider the support crew that comes to set up at a grand prix, perhaps they won’t always necessarily be the same people.”

“At the moment with a two-week break you can use your race crew to do a lot of set-up of garages and things. If you get into triple-headers what you might have is a crew – which is not necessarily a big crew – maybe a handful of people – to go out and set up a race structure before a proper race team arrives.

“You may actually get to the point where you have separate crews that crew the cars or even engineer the cars. I’m not sure we’re quite at that point yet, we’ll have to wait and see.”

Michael added that for McLaren the cost of bringing more staff to do set-up work could be minimised by using existing employees who run the team’s heritage cars at other events.

“Those costs of additional people would be marginal compared to the costs of additional grands prix, because teams get income from doing races,” he said.

However he admitted that the coming run of three pairs of double-header races is “the most tiring part of the season”.

“It’s really where from a human point of view you put all of your energy in the 12 months before this to make sure people are fit and healthy to not just and covered properly to not just do their job and cope with jet lag and normal 16 to 18 hour days that the race mechanics do.

“In the case of the pit crew they’ve got an athletic job to do on Sunday with the pit stops so we need to make sure they’re fit and healthy for that as well.”

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei