Haas admits 'tough' 2021 F1 schedule still unpredictable

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says the lingering Covid crisis is keeping a cloud of uncertainty over F1's "tough" 2021 schedule.

The first half of the F1 season was impacted by a few disruptions, with races canceled in Australia and in Canada, while Turkey was pushed back from June to early October.

But local restrictions and sanitary measures linked to the coronavirus pandemic have also put the Japanese and Brazilian Grands Prix in jeopardy, forcing F1 to juggle with events and promoters in a bid to maintain its 23-race schedule.

As the world's health crisis hopefully subsides, Steiner is looking forward to return to a more predictable agenda in the future.

"I think once COVID is over, the planning for Formula 1 will be – not necessarily easier – but a lot more predictable," said the Haas team principal.

"At the moment, it is unpredictable what is happening in each country therefore we’re having quite a tough schedule."

©Haas

F1's upcoming summer break that will kick off after this week's Hungarian Grand Prix will offer teams a well-deserved holiday period.

However, many fear that the prospect of an ever-growing calendar could compress or phase out altogether F1's three-week recess.

But Steiner is hopeful that the sport will be able to add new events while protecting its summer break

"It's very important for the team to have some time off, especially during COVID times where there are a lot of triple-headers, and also rest before we go into the second half of the season which will be as tough, if not tougher," commented the Italian.

"It’s very important that they can see they still have time at home with their families, even if at the moment they are pretty tired.

"I’m sure they all plan to take some time off and recharge batteries. The summer break is important and at the moment there is no talk about getting rid of this in the future, even if there are more events coming.

"I’m sure we will get organized and make it possible to have a big calendar and still have the summer break."

Like his colleagues, Steiner is looking forward to enjoying some down time next month with family and friends, although he admitted that F1 won't be off his mind.

"It's impossible to switch off but you can use the time when you are not under pressure with the day-to-day things to think about the bigger picture," he said.

"I think that is always a good time because you’re not doing anything,

"it just gives you the opportunity to focus on the things that don’t need an immediate answer and to be a little bit creative and create a vision for the future of the team and for personal life.

"It’s always good to have some time off but the biggest thing is there is little day-to-day work to do so you can use this time to be creative.

"I hope to have a few days with my family, relax a little bit, and come back here recharged."

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Phillip van Osten

Motor racing was a backdrop from the outset in Phillip van Osten's life. Born in Southern California, Phillip grew up with the sights and sounds of fast cars thanks to his father, Dick van Osten, an editor and writer for Auto Speed and Sport and Motor Trend. Phillip's passion for racing grew even more when his family moved to Europe and he became acquainted with the extraordinary world of Grand Prix racing. He was an early contributor to the monthly French F1i Magazine, often providing a historic or business perspective on Formula 1's affairs. In 2012, he co-authored along with fellow journalist Pierre Van Vliet the English-language adaptation of a limited edition book devoted to the great Belgian driver Jacky Ickx. He also authored "The American Legacy in Formula 1", a book which recounts the trials and tribulations of American drivers in Grand Prix racing. Phillip is also a commentator for Belgian broadcaster Be.TV for the US Indycar series.

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