‘It really takes it out of you’: George Russell admits concern heading into 2023 season

The 2023 F1 season will feature a record 23 races, including a new grand prix in Las Vegas.

The 2023 season was originally planned to have an astonishing 24 races on the calendar, but after the Chinese Grand Prix was scrapped due to COVID concerns, the upcoming season will feature 23 races.

This is still an increase from last year’s 2022 calendar, with the Las Vegas Grand Prix set to make its debut towards the end of the year.

While 23 race weekends may not seem too many initially, when it is considered that the season only runs from March until November and includes a summer break, it becomes more noticeable how hard worked the drivers really are.

Having been in Formula 1 for a number of years now, Mercedes driver George Russell has had to adapt to the ever-expanding calendar.

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While he claims his team are excellent at keeping him fit and ready, he has admitted that the relentless calendar and constant time zone changes are beginning to take a toll on the drivers.

“There’s nothing different I’m doing this year,” he said.

“I think with the team I’ve got around me we’re really, really honoured with, let’s say, human performance and it’s something we’re trying to implement a bit more into the group around us.

“Because these time zone shifts are so brutal for some of the races and just the length of flights. It doesn’t matter how you fly, it really takes it out of you.

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“It’s definitely getting to a point where people are feeling the effects. I think we’ve had some good conversations with Formula 1 about where the future is and perhaps making things a bit more sustainable, not just in terms of flying but for all of us on this rollercoaster together.

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“But ultimately, you’re so energised and motivated from going out there and driving. Sometimes even if you didn’t have the best night’s sleep, once you’re in the car, you’re in your game.”

Russell’s point about the length of flights is entirely valid, as the drivers will have to complete an 18 hour flight between Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi at the end of the season, with no gap in the calendar between the races.

Chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association Alex Wurz has revealed that he is looking into the problem of the drivers becoming burned out, as they create the product which brings in the viewers.