Sebastian Vettel Cautions F1 Ahead of ’21 Season: ‘Wish We Learn From Last Year’

Published 02/11/2021, 6:20 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 11, 2020 Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel arrives at the Yas Marina Circuit Hamad I Mohammed/Pool via REUTERS


The coronavirus pandemic has forced Formula One to bring about several changes, and hectic seasons are probably one of the most significant ones. The authorities have scheduled a record-breaking 23 race calendar for the 2021 season, which Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel thinks could be detrimental to the support personnel involved in the sport.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The race calendar will see the 23 races get completed in 35 weeks. The 2021 calendar would also see two instances of ‘triple-headers’ (races happening on three consecutive weekends). These two instances will happen in seven weeks, separated by a weekend off in between.

The two triple-headers are the Russia-Singapore-Japan leg and the US-Mexico-Brazil leg. Triple-headers were introduced last season, as the F1 was under pressure to complete a 17 race calendar in 24 weeks.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Teams were assured that this would not happen again. However, the rescheduling of the calendar has led to this scenario materializing.

Sebastian Vettel believes season to be brutal on support staff

Vettel thinks F1 should think about the safety of ‘all personnel’ involved in the sport. In an interview, he said, “We have the biggest calendar ahead, ever, and I am not sure yet how we approach this year. I think we should definitely make sure that we take care of all the people involved.”

The German thinks the drivers get the easier end of this.

“Drivers are sitting on the lucky end. Obviously, the demands are very high at times but, just in terms of hours, I think there are a lot of people who put in more hours than us over a weekend.”

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

“So I hope and wish we learn from last year and not just be happy to proceed and do the same thing because I think it’s been quite demanding on a lot of individuals, their families, and so on.”

The 33-year-old was also very critical on the triple-headers scheduled for 2021, saying, “Obviously, it was great to have a season at all given the situation. But I think all things considered we need to be very cautious of the planning going ahead this year.”

F1 needs to be sensitive to the essential personnel

Whenever anyone thinks about F1, people talk about the drivers, first and foremost. Then, they talk about the teams and the team principals. However, nobody talks about the people behind the scenes who allow this entire sport to function smoothly.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Nobody talks about the engineers who work all year round on the current car as well as next season’s car, or the logistics people who work on getting the teams successfully relocated to their next destination.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images)

Vettel has rightly pointed out the difficulties faced by the behind-the-scenes crew in the sport. These people are what allows the sport to take place. Most teams may employ a rotation of sorts with regard to the essential personnel. This will most probably take place during the triple-headers.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The teams, as well as F1, need to work together to get a satisfactory resolution to this troubling issue.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT