Red Bull chief Christian Horner dismisses concerns of Mercedes rival Toto Wolff by insisting drivers and staff can handle the mental toll of a record 23 F1 races next year

Christian Horner has defended next year’s Formula One calendar — the longest ever when it is unveiled on Friday — against the accusation that it puts too much stress on the mental health of the sport’s participants. The season opens in Bahrain on March 20 and ends in Abu Dhabi on November 20, meaning it is more tightly packed than this year yet one race longer. ‘You could go to Formula Two and do 12 races and earn half the money. ‘I think a lot of guys in the paddock forget that 10 or 15 years ago, we went testing in January and then the drivers and their race engineers would go from race to test to race to test. ‘In terms of work balance, we don’t see the mechanics in the factory much between races because the cars aren’t there.

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