McLaren boss Andreas Seidl has stressed that triple-headers cannot become the standard in future Formula 1 seasons following a relentless run of races at the start of the 2020 campaign.

The season was heavily delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and as a direct result the revised 17-round calendar has been significantly condensed, with the opening nine races taking place within an 11-week period.

In order to get the season off the ground and meet the minimum eight rounds required to validate a world championship campaign, F1 began the season with three triple-header events in a row, with only a weekend off between each triple-header.

Such a packed schedule has stretched teams and their personnel to the limit and Seidl admitted he is relieved that a "more normal" run of races - featuring standalone events and only one back-to-back and one triple-header - is left to complete this year.

"This is probably the most intense schedule we ever had with nine races in 11 weeks,” Seidl explained.

“It was very demanding and was definitely wearing out our people. So I’m really happy and thankful for how everyone in the team was pushing through this period.

“Together with the people from home and the factory, they had to go flat-out in order to ensure you always had the logistics in place and the parts in place to do the races and in parallel, go flat-out in terms of the development of the car.

“We will try to give some people from the race team some rest and then at the end of week we have to pack everything again for the freight which then leaves to go to Russia.

“It is good that at least for some weeks we go back to a ‘more normal’ racing schedule. Hopefully it makes it more sustainable for our guys.

“I think it’s very important that we are all fully clear, together with Formula 1 also, that what we do this year is acceptable because everyone understands we are under special circumstances but that can’t be the way forward to have triple headers as the standard."

F1 was originally meant to have a record 22-race calendar this year and Liberty Media is keen to expand the schedule further to something closer to 25 events a season in the coming years.

Seidl is not alone in highlighting his concerns about triple-headers, with Racing Point chief Otmar Szafnauer saying they are simply “not sustainable”.

“I think multiple triple-headers are not sustainable,” Szafnauer said.

“We’re doing them this year but if I were to tell all the mechanics that this is how it’s going to be, going forward, I think they would choose to do something else.”

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner agreed with his fellow team bosses, adding: “We had a few months not doing so much in the beginning of the year... but doing it going forward as a standard I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

 

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