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Russell calls for F1 staff to be BANNED from working some races

Russell calls for F1 staff to be BANNED from working some races

Russell calls for F1 staff to be BANNED from working some races

Russell calls for F1 staff to be BANNED from working some races

George Russell has expressed his belief that Formula 1 staff should not be required to attend every single race, citing safety concerns and noting that people are struggling with the challenges of time zone shifts.

The 2023 F1 calendar featured a record number of races, jumping from country to continent. The most recent move spanned from the United States to Abu Dhabi within a single week.

These constant moves pose challenges, with Mercedes driver Russell saying that he has witnessed many engineers and staff falling ill, prompting him to advocate for restricting staff attendance at every race on the calendar.

“We have it best from every single person in this paddock, the way we travel,” Russell said. “We’re in a very fortunate position. But everybody up and down the paddock, I’ve got so many mechanics who are ill.

“People [are] 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 to 4,000 people, I think to do 24 races a season. Especially when you see how geographically [diverse the calendar is], it still doesn’t make a huge amount of sense.”

George Russell believes staff should not work every GP race
The Abu Dhabi GP took place one week after the Las Vegas race weekend

READ MORE: Verstappen fires warning shot at F1 legend in bold 2024 claim

Russell’s struggles

Russell also faced challenges adjusting to time zones and dealt with illness after the Las Vegas Grand Prix, evident during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix podium.

The Mercedes driver demonstrated impressive pace throughout the race, finishing in third place. However, he revealed that he had been coughing on every lap.

George Russell was visibly unwell on the Abu Dhabi podium

“Firstly, in Vegas with a big fever, I couldn’t sleep and just felt awful,” Russell added. “And then I’ve had a horrendous cough that stayed with me all weekend 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.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the 2024 calendar is taking new strides towards enhancing sustainability by scheduling Grand Prix weekends in similar regions around the same time.

While coping with time zone changes remains a persistent challenge for both drivers and staff, the calendar's ongoing adjustments offer hope for a less demanding experience.

READ MORE: More Mercedes misery as Russell brings out red flag in testing

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