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GP Week : Issue 191
F1 >>> nEWs Formula One’s governing body has unveiled a record 22-race calendar for next year which includes an unprecedented triple-header, posing a logistical headache for competitors as well as threatening to place further strain on already stretched team personnel and bloated operational budgets. The current calendar comprises 19 races, nearly two-thirds of which are ‘fly-aways’ requiring long-haul travel outside the sport’s traditional European heartland, and team- bosses – keen to limit the number of races to no more than 20 per season – have voiced concerns over slotting in more and more races into an already packed calendar. “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,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told reporters in Korea. “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.” Perhaps more daunting for teams than the overall number of races pencilled in for next year is a triple- header in the middle of the season with the races in Monaco, New Jersey and Canada all taking place on consecutive weekends, leaving teams with a very short amount of time to pack and ship their equipment across the Atlantic. “Technically, it will be very difficult to have a back-to-back from Monaco to Jersey, because normally the freight will leave for Canada, let’s say, on the Saturday before the race,” Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder, whose responsibilities include overseeing logistics at the outfit, told journalists in Korea. “And so that’s why, if you’re only able to send your freight on a Monday or a Tuesday, it compromises your weekend quite a bit.” His counterpart at Ferrari, Massimo Rivola agreed: “I can say that even for a top team it’s something almost impossible, to be honest, to be done. At the end, as I said, we have more freight. It’s not that a top team has such a big advantage having such a back- to-back. It’s going to be almost impossible to do it.” The calendar approved last week by the FIA’s top decision-making body – the World Motor Sport Council – will feature two new races in New Jersey and Russia while Austria and Mexico are also gearing up to make their return to the sport after having spent eleven years and, in Mexico’s case, over two decades off the schedule. But three of the 22 rounds have been listed as provisional with the races in New Jersey and Mexico subject to circuit approval, while the future of the unloved Korean Grand Prix is also up in the air as organisers seek better terms from the sport’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone. As a result, the calendar could yet be pared back to 20 or fewer races. “The calendar's changed a lot over the last few weeks,” Horner said. “And I'm sure before the end of the season there will probably be a few more tweaks to it.” “Looking ahead to the remainder of the season, we at the Marussia F1 Team have a lot of hard work to do in the next six races to deliver 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship and I will be very focused on what I can do to play my part in bringing that result about,” Bianchi said. 2014 provisional Formula One calendar 16 March Grand Prix of Australia 30 March Grand Prix of Malaysia 06 April Grand Prix of Bahrain 20 April Grand Prix of China 27 April Grand Prix of Korea (provisional) 11 May Grand Prix of spain 25 May Grand Prix of Monaco 01 June Grand Prix of America, New Jersey (provisional*) 08 June Grand Prix of Canada 22 June Grand Prix of Austria 06 July Grand Prix of Great Britain 20 July Grand Prix of Germany (Hockenheim) 27 July Grand Prix of Hungary 24 August Grand Prix of Belgium 07 september Grand Prix of Italy 21 september Grand Prix of singapore 05 October Grand Prix of Russia (sochi) 12 October Grand Prix of Japan 26 October Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi 09 November Grand Prix of usA (Austin) 16 November Grand Prix of Mexico (provisional*) 30 November Grand Prix of Brazil PROvISIONAL 2014 CALENdAR RELEASEd, MOCKEd ... 10 GPWEEK.com // 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: