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Formula One’s 2014 calendar ‘beyond the limit’ for teams

Formula One’s 2014 calendar ‘beyond the limit’ for teams
Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari drives during practice for the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at Korea International Circuit on October 4, 2013 in Yeongam-gun, South Korea. Photo by: Getty Images
Most teams reluctant to go beyond 20 races, mindful of added expense
Published: 6:19 PM, October 4, 2013
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YEONGAM — Formula One’s record 22 race calendar for 2014 is ‘beyond the limit’ for teams but looks likely to be trimmed before it becomes definitive, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Three races on the calendar released last week have asterisks against them — South Korea, New Jersey and Mexico — and the prospects of the first two at least have been called into question.

Most teams are reluctant to go beyond 20 races, mindful of the added expense and the burden being shouldered by key staff such as engineers and race mechanics who cannot easily be rotated.

This year’s championship has 19 races, with the record standing at 20.

“I think we all recognise that 22 races is beyond the limit, the strain that it puts on the team and the entourage that follow Formula One,” Mr Horner told reporters ahead of Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix.

“If you are doing 22 races in economy class, flying around the world and you are going a week before the race and coming back a day or so after, it’s a long, tough season.

“For me the ideal number is 20, that I think is saturation point, but I can understand why he (Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone) is pushing to get more venues.”

The calendar approved by the International Automobile Federation includes a rare ‘triple header’ of Monaco followed by New Jersey and then Canada on successive weekends, which poses an added logistical problem.

“Of course it’s feasible. But it’s expensive,” said Mr Horner of that challenge. “Let’s see. The calendar’s changed a lot over the last few weeks and I’m sure before the end of the season there will probably be a few more tweaks to it.”

VERY OPTIMISTIC

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