When Formula 1 returns in 2020, there will be a record 22 races on the schedule which has triggered renewed concerns about the demands being placed on those who keep the travelling circus on the road.
The schedule has lost Germany but is expanding with the addition of Vietnam and the return after a long absence of Dutch circuit Zandvoort.
Ultimately, commercial rights holders Liberty Media want to structure the calendar so they can accommodate a maximum of 25 races.
Over the last decade, Formula 1 has spread its wings far beyond its European heartland and added lucrative races in Asia and the Middle East.
Of the 17 races in the 2000 season, only six were outside Europe. Next year, 13 of the 22 races will be long-haul “flyaways”.
“We care deeply about it,” Formula One Chief Executive Chase Carey, appointed after U.S.-based Liberty took over the sport in 2017, told reporters in Abu Dhabi when asked about the toll taken by such a long season. “Ultimately the jobs of the people come from having a healthy sport.
“We need to make the sport healthy but try to do it in a way that is very cognisant of the pressure and the wear and tear,” the American said.
Race weekends are set to be shortened by a day from 2021, running from Friday to Sunday instead of the current Thursday start.
The mandatory curfew, during which team personnel who work on the car are not allowed to enter the circuit, is set to get longer.