Fernando Alonso has warned Formula 1 that it needs to be careful not to overwork the teams as they mull adding more races to the calendar.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has suggested that he would like to exploit the markets in Africa and Asia after the addition of a Vegas race to next year’s calendar, and even insinuated that there could eventually be 30 races a year.
Races like the Belgian Grand Prix and the Monaco Grand Prix look under threat as a result of the pinnacle of motorsport leaning more heavily on other demographics.
Spa Francorchamps currently does not have a contract for next year, while Monaco does not even have a contract for 2022 – a one-year deal was agreed after its expiration in 2021.
Spa may be saved by the termination of F1’s contract with Russia amid their ongoing invasion of Ukraine, but the French Grand Prix is all but doomed due to the congestion.
The teams are all based in Europe, and the constant travelling and unsocial hours naturally takes its toll on team members financially and mentally.
Alonso has called for caution on the amount of strain F1 management place on the paddock workers.
“We need to be careful on the number of races. We should be on a limit, because for the teams it’s quite demanding, how the schedule and the calendar is now, especially we don’t have so many races in Europe anymore,” he said, as quoted by Autosport.
Alonso returned to F1 last year following a two-year hiatus, during which he tried to qualify for the Indy 500 with McLaren and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Toyota.
He joined Alpine – the team with whom he won two championships under its Renault guise in 2005 and 2006 – partnering Esteban Ocon.
The pair drew 11-11 in the qualifying battle as the Spaniard finished seven points ahead of his younger team-mate in the Drivers’ Standings.
He is pleased with his satisfactory return last season, and believes he has plenty of residual energy and performance left in him yet.
“Last year, I think I did well,” he said.
“I finished slightly in front of Esteban. Let’s see this year how the battle goes.
“This is about performance, not about age. As I said at the beginning of the year, I still feel competitive and fast and feel that I am enjoying time in Formula 1.
“So, I will race, I guess, a couple more years – two or three more years.”
Alonso ended the Bahrain Grand Prix ninth to open 2022 with two points, before a reliability failure put him out of the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following a thrilling battle with Ocon.