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Russell fears ILLNESS will hamper 2024 F1 season

Russell fears ILLNESS will hamper 2024 F1 season

F1 News

Russell fears ILLNESS will hamper 2024 F1 season

Russell fears ILLNESS will hamper 2024 F1 season

George Russell is sounding the alarm about the well-being of those involved in the upcoming Formula 1 season, which is set to be a record-breaking marathon with an unprecedented 24 races.

While this year saw 22 races due to cancellations, the return of the Chinese Grand Prix and the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola will push the limits in 2024.

The action kicks off in Bahrain on February 29, following pre-season testing the week prior, and wraps up in Abu Dhabi on December 8.

However, Russell, who found himself coughing on the podium during the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, isn't just talking about the physical demands on drivers - he's voicing concerns about the toll this grueling schedule will take on all team personnel.

George Russell has voiced concerns about the physical demands of a 24-race season
George Russell said time zone shifts have led to illness among F1 team staff

Russell: Our bodies are confused

In a sport where precision and endurance are key, the logistics of navigating diverse time zones and geographical challenges in the race calendar have Russell questioning the sustainability of the hardworking individuals behind the scenes.

"Everybody up and down the paddock – I’ve got so many mechanics who are ill, people in the engineers’ office,” Russell said after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"They have really struggled 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 for 4,000 people, I think it is, to do 24 races a season, especially when you see how geographically it still doesn’t make a huge amount of sense."

FIA chief Mohammed Ben Sulayem is also concerned about the unprecedented race calendar, but F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali disagrees

FIA and F1 in disagreement

The crescendo of the 2023 season drew its fair share of criticism, particularly as the season-ending Abu Dhabi race swiftly followed the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, with the latter 12 hours behind.

Unfortunately for Russell, harmony between the FIA and Formula 1 appears elusive when it comes to next year's schedule.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem voices concerns, emphasising that the sheer volume of races 'causes a lot of fatigue'.

In contrast, F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali holds firm, asserting that 24 races are the 'right number' for the F1 calendar.

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