FIA President Jean Todt says people who work in Formula 1 should not complain about the calendar expanding in future, and instead acknowledge how fortunate they are to be involved in the sport.
The 2020 F1 season will feature a record 22 races, with Vietnam and the Netherlands joining the schedule and only Hockenheim dropping off it, and the regulations allow for a future expansion to 25 events.
That has prompted concerns about the strain put on those who travel to all the races, with teams looking at ways of rotating staff.
F1 CEO Chase Carey has acknowledged what he calls “wear and tear” on personnel is a potential issue, which is why race weekends are being shortened from 2021, with fewer activities on Thursdays. However, Todt has downplayed such concerns.
“I think it will be a long process before being close to 25 races,” said Todt. “Probably so much emphasis on speculating and assessing 25 races, and at the moment we should concentrate on 22, which is the situation.
“Now about what it does represent, here I may have a different point of view. I really feel that, and I include myself, we are so blessed to be in a world where we love what we do. We have the passion. We are privileged. Whoever is in F1 is privileged.
“Of course, you have some duties. When I was in other positions [as Ferrari team principal], I was working 18 hours every day, seven days, six or seven days a week, because I had passion, I wanted a result.
“Then of course, the family, if you have a beloved family, they will understand. And you don’t do that for all your life.”
Todt indicated that his visits to developing countries in his road safety and United Nations roles have opened his eyes.
“Believe me, I do a lot in the other activities in my life, where I see people, if they are blessed, they get $30 a month. Being blessed in certain countries. So we should not forget that.
“We should be decent, and thinking that it does happen. You have an eight billion population [globally], and you have 800 million people [not able] to eat, to drink, to get a vaccination.
“We’re here to talk about F1, but we must not close our eyes and forget what is happening, for other people, for other communities.
“I feel again, we have to be blessed, and all those who are in F1, with much higher salaries, incidentally, than any other business, should be very happy. It doesn’t mean that it’s not hard working and all that, but simply assessing the position.”
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