Brawn: F1 2018 triple-header ‘an emergency measure’

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The unprecedented triple-header of races on the 2018 Formula 1 calendar is an “emergency measure” that is unlikely to ever happen again, according to series technical chief Ross Brawn.

The FIA confirmed the 21-race calendar for 2018 following the World Motor Sport Council’s final meeting of the year in Paris on Wednesday, with the triple-header across June and July going unchanged from the provisional schedule.

France will host its first grand prix since 2008 on June 24, and will be followed by races in Austria and Great Britain on July 1 and July 8 respectively.

Concerns have already been raised about the logistical and physical challenge of the triple-header, particularly with the placement of Hungary and Germany later in July resulting in a run of five races in six weekends.

However, Brawn told Sky Germany that staging races on three straight weekends would not become common practice for F1 moving forward, stressing 2018’s scheduling was complicated by the FIFA World Cup’s staging.

“The World Cup presented us with a very unusual problem. The final is in the afternoon and it would have been very unfair to have run a race on that weekend,” Brawn said, referring to the July 15 weekend.

“We could only solve that by having three races in a row, but it’s not something we want to repeat in the future.

“It was an emergency measure.”

Despite Brawn’s comments, it is known that F1 owner Liberty Media is keen to expand the series’ calendar beyond the 21 races currently scheduled as part of its push to expand and grow its awareness globally.

The 2018 calendar will tie with 2016 for being the longest in F1’s history.

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
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Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”