Formula 1 is facing the biggest season in its history this year. 23 races are scheduled between mid-March and mid-November in just eight months. Does the premier class expect too much of their staff? Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi explains that one cannot say that in general.
“It’s a lot,” says Rossi, who has the mechanics in mind above all. “At the same time it’s great for the sport and the drivers love it. If you offered them 40 races, they would probably drive 40 times a year. If they didn’t [an der Strecke] then they drive their karts or other things anyway,” he recalls.
However, it is about finding a Formula 1 calendar that is “sustainable” for all employees in the premier class, according to Rossi. In his opinion, “the maximum” of what is reasonable has been reached with 23 races. “The fewer double and triple headers we have, the better it is,” adds the Alpine CEO.
In principle, Rossi has no problem with the fact that more and more new routes are slipping into the calendar. “Personally, I think that raises the bar in terms of infrastructure,” he says, explaining that the new and modern tracks make older courses look “a bit old and shabby”.
“It’s great to be in Spa, Monza and Silverstone. I love these races very much,” he clarifies. At the same time, however, new routes such as in Miami are a motivation for the historic courses “not to rest on their laurels” and thus run the risk of possibly losing their place in the calendar.
And even apart from the calendar planning, Rossi welcomes the latest developments in Formula 1. For example, sprint races are “a step in the right direction because they improve the show a bit,” says Rossi, who also explains: “The budget limit is the best thing that happened to the sport.”
“Otherwise, a lot of people would have given up and said, ‘Even as a Renault, I can’t make a billion [Euro] invest every year. I’m sorry, that doesn’t make any sense.’ I think the cost cap is great,” Rossi clarifies. The budget cap is intended to help Alpine catch up with the top.