F1: FIA to force winter shutdown of all teams

by Mark Cipolloni.

The FIA has announced a mandatory winter shutdown for Formula 1 teams amid concerns over the impact longer seasons are having on staff.

However, are they barking up the wrong tree?

It is the traveling team that really gets burned out, more so than the factory workers. The traveling team is forced to travel around the world from late February until the end of November with no relief except the 3-weeks off during the summer.

The factory workers can take their vacation time anytime during the 12 months on a rotational basis with co-workers so as not to impact design and production.

The off-season provides respite for some, including the drivers and some other staff members that travel around the world.

The arguments is that the team factories remain a hive of activity with most staff members working flat out on preparations for the following year, including car development, during the offseason.

In response to concerns over staff burnout, a new winter shutdown period will be introduced.

Similar shutdowns in the summer have been practiced before in F1, but this will be the first time an enforced limit has been put in place over the off-season.

The FIA has yet to confirm the proposed length of the shutdown, expected to be the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The move is also subject to approval by the governing body’s World Motor Sport Council, and it could be nixed there if common sense prevails because it is the traveling staff, not the factory staff, that really gets burned out and cannot take time off.

The factory staff have all year to take their personal time off (up to 4 weeks) so why does it have to be during the holidays when getting the next year’s car ready for February testing is crucial?

That’s just our opinion, but we don’t get to vote.