Max Verstappen expresses concern at F1 schedule and tiredness among drivers

After the 2023 Las Vegas GP, the F1 paddock moved to Abu Dhabi which is 12 hours ahead of the US city

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has expressed his concerns over the growing levels of tiredness in the Formula 1 paddock amid a hectic end of season schedule.

F1’s 2023 race calendar finishes with Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina, less than a week after the Las Vegas GP, which took place late on Saturday night.

The late timetable designed to help with television audiences and jetlag has affected a lot of the paddock’s sleep patterns and is likely to have not been helped by the quick turnaround between races.

“Yeah, it’s a bit tough to understand what timezone that you’re in,” Verstappen joked to the press. “I think what does help here, of course, is that it’s all a bit later, so you try to have a good night’s sleep and stuff.

“But I definitely think for the future, of course, for next year. It’s not possible, but it’s a little bit odd that we are on the other side of the world basically before getting here, especially when you’re talking about sustainability it’s probably not very sustainable, not only for the emissions but also for the human body. 

“Of course, eventually, we always deal with it, but I don’t think it’s great, so we’ll just talk to have with F1 about that if there’s something that we can do for the future to make it a little bit more of a normal end to the year.”

“Because it’s already a lot of races, a lot of travelling in the end, like after the summer break, basically, so I think we can do a little bit of a better job with placing the Grand Prix, I guess, but already for next year. I think they are doing that at the start of the year, so that will help already.”

Max Verstappen leads Charles Leclerc of Ferrari at Turn 1 during 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Hoping for F1 changes in 2025

The 2024 calendar, which features 24 races, is set to be the sport’s biggest calendar and will start in Bahrain on March 2nd before heading to Saudi Arabia for round two on March 9.

Las Vegas will form the opening leg of a brutal triple-header on November 23 before the F1 circus will pack up for the Qatar GP held one week later on December 1 before finishing in Abu Dhabi on December 8.

All three races occur at night and come with a 12-hour change in timezone, a fact which hasn’t impressed Verstappen who said after Las Vegas GP the change in timezones and timings was a ‘bit much’.

“I don’t mind having a triple-header when it’s like, Middle East,” explained Verstappen. “It’s just the flight time to go here it’s probably a bit much.

“Next year, we cannot change that, hopefully, in the future, we can have a chat and see what’s best for everyone.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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