F1 returned to Melbourne two years after the Grand Prix was canceled hours earlier than testing started for the 2020 season opener following the primary confirmed case of COVID-19 within the paddock.
This 12 months’s Australian Grand Prix is the third spherical of the season, however has historically been the primary race of the marketing campaign. The season began with a double recreation within the Center East in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
However the self-contained nature of the race means most staff members solely had a number of days at residence earlier than heading to Australia early to regulate to jet lag.
Russell stated extra consideration ought to be given to Australia’s placement on the calendar sooner or later, suggesting it ought to be paired with a Center East run to interrupt up a part of the journey.
“Having Melbourne between races, particularly solo, is simply too troublesome for the groups and for everybody,” Russell stated.
“Individuals have been out on Saturdays and Sundays to acclimatize to the situations, the change in time zones, and it’s simply an excessive amount of. I feel extra thought must be given to that.
“There’s no purpose we couldn’t do a back-to-back with one of many Center East runs. It seems like one other double-header for all of the groups over time. they spend on this a part of the world.
“Because the season will get longer and longer, we have now to discover a higher steadiness.”
The final time Australia appeared on the calendar not as a season opener was in 2010, once they served because the second spherical of the season after Bahrain.
Christian Horner, Crew Principal, Crimson Bull Racing
Picture by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Photographs
The Malaysian Grand Prix happened per week after Melbourne, permitting returns to Europe to chop brief the journey.
Crimson Bull F1 boss Christian Horner stated Australia being a stand-alone race made logistics “very costly” for the groups.
“Coming right here for a weekend, I feel for everybody, it’s an enormous time change, it’s costly,” Horner stated.
“From a calendar perspective, it could have been higher to have one other race that we moved on from right here.”
Requested if this was one thing F1 ought to attempt to work out for future schedules, Horner stated: “It’s very troublesome for them with the schedule as a result of you will have Easter subsequent weekend for instance.
“By adapting the suitable racing calendar, there are all the time issues that they’ve to resolve.
“It’s troublesome for the groups, clearly coming right here for a weekend.”