Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher has raised his concerns over the much-talked-about 2023 calendar, which will feature a record-breaking 24 races.
2023 is set to be a season that will push the Formula 1 paddock to their absolute limit, both physically and mentally.
24 races across the season will be absolutely ruthless, but the worst part is that it appears for all the world that the number of races might yet increase again in the not so distant future.
Formula 1 is booming like never before at the moment, with more viewers watching the sport and more countries showing interest in hosting a race.
The Netflix series ‘Drive to Survive’ has played a huge part in the sport’s rapid rise in recent years, with the United States being a particularly strong area for the championship as of late.
As a result of the rapidly growing interest in the series across the Atlantic, 2023 will see three races in the United States, including, the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The Las Vegas race will break all sorts of records, with it set to be the latest ever race and also the fourth in the sports history to take place on a Saturday.
It remains to be seen where F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali will take the sport next, with South Africa and a return to Kyalami reportedly on the cards for 2024 and a potential French street race being considered.
For the brother of Michael Schumacher, “burnout” could become a very serious problem unless the championship isn’t careful, with the fear that teams’ employees won’t “see their families”.
“I’m curious how many people can keep it up in the long run,” Schumacher told Kronen Zeitung newspaper.
“I think the issue of burnout among the mechanics cannot be completely dismissed. It must be horrific for them,” Schumacher said.
“They don’t even see their families anymore.”
Fan burnout is interestingly another issue, with triple-headers becoming increasingly unpopular amongst fans.
Some believe that three races in a row is simply too much; however, they don’t look like they’ll be disappearing anytime soon.
Schumacher somewhat agrees with this, but also feels like something is missing when the racing isn’t on.
“When I talk to friends, they sometimes say ‘Formula 1 is on again? I didn’t know!’” Schumacher added.
“But when F1 then takes a short break, somehow it’s missing. I catch myself thinking ‘No race this weekend – what am I going to do on Sunday?’”
Whilst the championship will feature 24 races, it could be argued that there will actually be 30, with 2023 to feature six sprint races.
This is nothing compared to the recently released MotoGP calendar, which has revealed a record breaking 21 races for its championship, with each round consisting of a sprint race.
That makes for 42 races over mixed distances over the season, a direction that many think F1 is going towards.
With Domenicali being all for increasing the number of sprint races, it is a real possibility that the championship could see virtually 50 races, should sprint races be introduced for every Grand Prix.