F1 News, Reports and Race Results

Sainz: Time for F1 to revise ‘overpacked’ weekend schedule

Carlos Sainz believes it’s time for F1 to rethink the "way it goes racing" on weekends and reconsider schedules that have now become too “repetitive” and “overpacked”.

In the bustling atmosphere of Las Vegas, Formula 1 drivers find themselves at the epicenter of a whirlwind of solicitations and engagements, navigating a schedule that seems to be as tightly packed as the city itself.

From promotional events to media obligations and sponsor commitments, the drivers are in high demand, constantly on the move amid the glitzy allure of the Las Vegas entertainment scene.

Balancing the demands of both the racing world and the city's vibrant atmosphere, F1 drivers are experiencing a relentless pace, where every corner brings a new opportunity or engagement vying for their attention.

For Sainz, it all adds another layer of frenetic complexity to an already exhaustive 22-race calendar.

But while this weekend’s race in Las Vegas has highlighted even more the pains of a congested schedule, the Spaniard believes that F1’s format overall warrants a change.

"Looking into the future, sure we're going to need to reconsider a bit the way we go racing at the weekends because our schedules are getting busier and busier every year,” Sainz said in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

"The weekends are almost starting earlier, rather than starting later. We are adding races to the calendar and it's getting to a point where I think, sometimes, everything feels a bit repetitive, and everything feels a bit overpacked and we're trying maybe to overdo it a bit.

"There are things that I actually think they do a lot for the sport and it's good to put on a show and to make the sport better. Then, on the other hand, there are other things that feel very repetitive and almost don't add any more for the weekend."

©Ferrari

Earlier in the day, F1 world champion Max Verstappen gave a thumbs down to the Las Vegas GP’s opening ceremony, insisting he felt like a clown at an event that was “99% show and 1% sports”.

Lando Norris was on the same page as his former McLaren teammate, and also aligned himself with Max Verstappen’s sharp criticism earlier in the day of F1’s opening ceremony where the Red Bull driver “felt like a clown”.

“It's definitely more of a show now than what it was a few years ago,” said Norris.

“To be honest, I just want to come here and drive. I've never been the biggest fan of doing these types of things like we did earlier [opening ceremony]. It's not what I enjoy doing.

"I know a lot of this stuff is just part of it and I'm not saying anything against it… It's a business and all those things and that's how it has to run at the end of the day."

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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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