Russell wants more testing opportunities in 2024: 'Day and a half too few'

Russell wants more testing opportunities in 2024: 'Day and a half too few'

18 February - 18:47 Last update: 22:12

George Russell, like all other drivers in Formula 1 this season, will only get a day and a half to get used to the new car and prepare for the new season. The Mercedes driver calls that too little and hopes there will be more opportunity to get in shape in 2024.

Little preparation for F1 drivers

"Personally, I don't think three days is enough," Russell told GPblog during the W14's car launch. "From the drivers' point of view, that's a day and a half per driver. We were lucky to be able to do the test last week [Pirelli test day at Paul Ricard], but had we not, we would've been getting on from 12 weeks of being out of the car from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain."

He draws comparisons with other sports, citing the example of tennis player Rafael Nadal. "Can you imagine Nadal spending 12 weeks without hitting a ball and then going into the French Open with 1.5 days of training? It would never happen."

Alonso agrees with Russell

Fernando Alonso earlier spoke words to this website along similar lines. The two-time world champion also feels that there is very little opportunity to put in miles ahead of the new season. "This year we test even less, so I know I won't be 100 per cent, not in Jeddah, maybe also in Australia. So that's a bit unfair. I mean, I think this is the only sport where you train for a day and a half in winter and then compete for a world championship."

In the future, Russell would prefer to see all racing teams allowed to come into action with more than one car on a test day. "I understand and recognise why we do that, I think three days with two cars would be a good place to be and would probably be the best compromise for the reasons why they are trying to limit it. 1.5 days per driver is too few."

23 GPs in 2023

A record number of races are scheduled in 2023. It means even more will be asked of drivers. Physically because there will be more racing, but also mentally. After all, there will be even more travelling than in past years. "There's nothing different I am doing this year (...) The length of flights, it doesn't matter how you fly, it takes it out of you. It is getting to the point where people are feeling the effects. We have had some good conversations with Formula 1 on where the future is and perhaps making things a bit more sustainable for not just flying but for all of us on this rollercoaster. Ultimately, you are so energised and motivated from going out driving. Sometimes, even without the best night’s sleep you are out there on top of your game."

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