Thumbs up for extended 2011 calendar
10 September, 2010
Sep.10 (Grand Prix 247) Almost lost in the hype, of the Ferrari team orders verdict, was the fact that the FIA have extended the 2011 calendar to twenty races to include the Indian Grand Prix for the first time.
At the FIA press conference drivers were unanimous in their support for the new look and extended calendar.
Formula 1 veteran Rubens Barrichello said, “I quite enjoyed it when I saw the calendar to be honest because I think the races are better projected in a way, because this year is going to be very tiring to either stay over there for a month, or to come back, stay two days at home and then go back again. If we have twenty races it’s going to be much better for you to go and have two weekends racing in Asia than to fly to Brazil and then go back to Abu Dhabi, so I think this is much more clear to us.”
The Brazilian pointed out, “I’ve always said that I wish to have thirty races and no testing because I think that would be more cost-effective and we would have more pleasure. I told my wife that I can race another 15 years. She didn’t like it but yeah, it’s going my way like no testing and more races.”
Jarno Trulli agreed with Barrichello’s sentiments, “Well, I agree with what Rubens says. I enjoy racing, and obviously having the race schedule in a better way makes it more efficient and easier for us to work because it’s not actually the race itself which stresses us but the travelling around without a proper schedule. This year is going to be a really hard end to the season. Probably the last five races will be harder than the whole season. I think once we can really figure out all the movement schedules and stuff like that, it’s going to be fine, because we don’t test any more. We normally have some time to relax once we’re in Europe, a week off, which we didn’t have in the past so I’m fine with it.”
Reigning World Champion Jenson Button said, “I think it’s good for the sponsors, more air time, more broadcasting. Racing twenty races during the season, I’m sure we can cope with that.”
The Briton was also pleased to see the Indian date on the calendar, “Also I think it’s fantastic having a Grand Prix in India for the sport and obviously great for the sponsors. Yeah, it’s exciting, it’s always exciting having new circuits. There aren’t really any circuits that I want to get rid of, so it’s nice to add to the calendar.”