Jacques Villeneuve expresses concerns about the grueling 2024 Formula 1 schedule, impacting not just drivers but also media and mechanics, comparing it unfavorably to his own racing days.
Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve fears that the increasingly busy Formula 1 calendar is taking its toll, not only on the drivers but also on the media and mechanics.
The Canadian compares the situation to the period when he was active, noting that while it has always been tough for drivers, it’s inescapable for many other employees in the Formula 1 world due to the increasingly demanding work schedule.
A notable aspect of the 2024 calendar is the triple header at the end of the year, featuring races in Las Vegas, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi. “It’s going to be extremely tough,” Villeneuve comments to PlanetF1.
“The double header at the end of 2023 was already challenging, especially with the flight from Las Vegas. For a large team, it’s manageable because they can charter a big plane and have all their mechanics on that one flight. But for the media, it’s truly grueling. They are the ones who lose out the most. All the costs are rising. Hotels and flights have become very expensive, making these trips very complicated.”
“The teams will find ways to fly, but it’s very tough for the staff. Traveling across time zones from Las Vegas to Qatar, you lose hours instead of gaining them. This makes it very hectic to set everything up again, as it all takes time,”
Villeneuve adds. The teams are helped by the fact that the Las Vegas Grand Prix takes place locally on Saturday evening, giving them an extra day of leeway.
Balancing work and family life is challenging.
In 2024, it becomes even tougher than in 2023, with two more Grands Prix. Additionally, the schedule at the start of the season is demanding: the races in Australia, Japan, China, and Miami are all two weeks apart, meaning drivers, mechanics, and media must either keep returning to Europe in between or be away from home for an extended period. This is followed by the triple header at the end of the season. “Having three consecutive races in 2024, especially towards the end of the season in December, is going to be exhausting.”
“It’s really tough for the mechanics, not just for the drivers.” The 1997 world champion points out that some aspects of the job have diminished since his racing days.
“Back then, there were fewer races, but there was a lot of testing. You covered many miles and spent many days at the circuit. There was more work for the drivers back then, but you had two teams of mechanics, a test team, and a race team. The mechanics had time to go home; now, it’s just really tough for them.”
The shelf life as an employee in the Formula 1 world is often limited, according to Villeneuve. “This job prevents you from having children.
That’s a choice. It’s a job you do out of passion. You’re aware of this when you start, so you can’t complain about it afterward. The sport is bigger than ever, so in that regard, it’s hard to criticize. Nobody wants the sport to get smaller.”
Villeneuve’s F1 Schedule Concerns in 2024: What’s Impacting. Villeneuve’s F1 Schedule Concerns in 2024: What’s Impacting
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