Red Bull F1 Engineer’s Monologue Sheds Light on Painful Impact of Triple-Headers

Published 10/02/2021, 8:35 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates with teammates after finishing second in the race Pool via REUTERS/Yuri Kochetkov


Many have often associated Formula 1 with a life of glitz and glamor. From the grand races at Monaco, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi, to the drivers and their celebrations and the media. However, there’s a reason F1 is also called the circus. The tight schedules and immense traveling not only take a toll on the drivers but also everyone who works behind the curtains.

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Additionally, this season will have its third triple header lined up in November; one that spans three continents. The Mexican, Brazilian, and Qatar races will be a hectic one for the teams. A Red Bull engineer shared a taste of what the teams’ schedules look like on a normal weekend, and it is intimidating.

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The crewmember found it necessary to explain that as much as it looks fun on the tracks over the weekend, the rest is pure hard work. In a touching statement, he also highlights that once the competition is over, the teams shift cities like a family. ” [Working in F1] doesn’t mean it’s some Monaco party everywhere. It’s hard work, it’s lonely for our families. That’s why there are no rivals in the pit lane, only our new, second traveling family.”

As for the intent behind his explanation, sympathy is not what the engineer wants. Instead, in a well-oiled machine like F1, every person on the paddock is important to get that car on the track. “I don’t think any of us want you to feel sorry for us, it was more to make people appreciate what goes into each event. Ask anyone who’s working in the factory or trackside, they love what they do and know the sacrifice that comes with it.”

Team principals predicted F1 workload

While the normal race week itself is hectic enough, the colossal workload over a triple header is beyond comprehension. The first two triple headers of the season were within seven weeks of each other. Now, it’s three continents.

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As the traveling crew faces immense pressure, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl had hoped that this would not continue beyond the season. “Cannot be the new standard going forward in future seasons”.

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates with teammates after winning the race REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Further, Toto Wolff too had his doubts. “A couple of triple-headers will take a toll on the people…You must not forget that the hardest working people are the ones that set up the garages and take them down and the mechanics that will have overnighters if something goes wrong.”

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In a sport like F1, it’s easy to focus on the drivers and a few well-known entities in the team. However, time and again, the sport proves itself to be an emotionally and physically taxing sport that takes its toll across the team.

Watch this story: Ferrari Strategy Fails We Will Never Forget.

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Shreya Sanjeev

462 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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