Ruthless calendar "a harsh price to pay" to get F1 back on track - Abiteboul
Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul believes Formula 1's brutal calendar this year is "a harsh price to pay" for the sport to get up and running again.
Although the plan is for around 15 to 16 races this campaign, they are to be squeezed into a period of just over five months, with the opening eight rounds in Europe taking place over 10 weeks, likely to be nine in 11 with a race at Mugello to soon be confirmed.
For the race staff in attendance, and working under the tricky new protocols in place to cope with Covid-19, it promises to be a demanding period of time.
Asked as to whether the calendar offers the right balance to ensure a season can be completed, Abiteboul said: "I think so.
"It's probably a price to pay, and the right price to pay for a season to take place, a season that will have all the chances to qualify as a championship by virtue of the regulations and the sporting code, but also offering some content.
"I think we've shown in the world that the content consumption and all the platforms that exist are fantastic, but if you have no content to push in the pipeline that's also some wasted opportunity.
'So the fact that Formula 1 has been able to come with a very structured response, including from a safety perspective - which would come with a sense of constraint associated, that is good - will be very challenging for the team, let's be honest."
With the likelihood of the season starting with three triple-headers, Abiteboul recognised the pressures that will come with such an imposing start, but also appreciating it is crucial for the sport to bounce back.
"After a period that has been demanding for anyone in this world, then to move on into a period for all the mechanics, the engineers that will be having to leave their family for almost a month, and then another month when we get into the next phase, and probably more of this to come later in the season, that is going to be challenging," added Abiteboul.
"It's a harsh price to pay, but we all know there are sacrifices to be made in Formula 1 if you just want to compete, and for some of us without the satisfaction of the reward of the result, which is even harder, and we are still in this part, that is very clear.
"But that's clearly a necessity for our sport to exist this year, and to remain strong in the years to come.
"Keeping in mind the target of Formula 1 is to maintain an overall value, post-crisis, then that is certainly what needs to be done this year."
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