Mercedes considers changing team structure

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Mercedes might have to change the structure of its team to deal with a 21-race season, according to Toto Wolff.

Formula One is set for its biggest season in history in 2016 with 21 races set to take place over 36 weeks from March 20 to November 27. With six sets of back-to-back races - including grands prix in Montreal and Baku being just a week apart - Mercedes boss Wolff understands the desire for so many events but is concerned about the impact it will have on team members.

"There are pros and cons with more races," Wolff told Autosport. "From the perspective of the commercial rights holder I understand more races brings more income, provides more coverage, bigger audiences, so that's a plus. In terms of making the spectacle exclusive, that's maybe a minus.

"From the team's perspective we have to take it like it is because Bernie draws up the calendar, and the income of the teams has been growing over past years, and this is certainly the most important thing.

"We just need to be careful with the organisation because with 19 races we've seen the mental and physical limits of the team. So we are looking at various concepts as to how we can survive for 21 races because I'm not sure we can cope with 21 in the current [team] structure.

"So we're looking at how we can optimise on travelling, on the jetlag, on rest, maybe having a second shift for the guys who work very hard. All that is being taken into consideration."

And Wolff feels there are certain team members who Mercedes cannot afford to be without at any grand prix, despite being faced with the final nine races being crammed in to a 13-week period.

"There are many people you can't really exchange because they are the best ones. There is a particularly hard time towards the end of the year with all those long-haul races, and this becomes very hard.

"I just want to protect the team, protect the individuals, and we need to see what we can do in order to make it most effective, but also workable."

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