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Russell: Domenicali ‘open’ to addressing GPDA concerns

George Russell says Stefano Domenicali is “open” to addressing concerns the GPDA have about the Formula 1 calendar and schedule.

With the calendar continuing to expand as more races are added, the schedule has featured an increasing number of back-to-back races or even triple-headers, with 24 races planned in 2023 before the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix.

In addition, the Australian Grand Prix has been moved from its traditional season-opening slot since its return in 2022 to a standalone event – something Russell is not overly keen on.

However, the Mercedes driver believes F1 chief Domenicali is willing to listen to the suggestions from the GPDA – of which Russell is a director.

Domenicali ‘open”

“I think collectively, we have a really strong input,” Russell told media, including, when asked how much input the GPDA have when it comes to the calendar and schedule.

“Stefano is incredibly open to hear our views and have conversations.

“There’s obviously been a lot of talk about how sustainable the calendar is, jumping from the Middle-East to America and back to Europe – and I think in years to come, that will be improved.

“For a lot of the fans, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, there are a lot of limitations with the climate; we race at certain events and limitations of street circuits of when [hosts] can open them.

“But definitely, I think Australia needs to be back-to-back with a Middle-Eastern race, because almost all of us flew out on Saturday and Sunday [the week before the race].

“All of the mechanics and engineers were likewise, so you’re already losing those additional three or four days, so it makes sense to be back-to-back with a Middle-Eastern race.”

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