On Friday the FIA revealed the confirmed calendar for the 2014 F1 season, 22 races including four new venues and a lot of headaches for F1 teams and other parties, this is why next year’s schedule won’t work.
First is the number, 22 Grand Prix races is easily a new record for the highest number in a season, three of the races on the calendar are still subject to approval so the expectation is that number could drop down to 21 or even 20, but F1 teams claim they want a limit of 20 races for a number of reasons.
Next year will see the arrival of new engine regulations with a limit of five engines per season, that means in a 20-race season each engine has to complete four races as oppose to the current two or three. F1 bosses have suggested an additional sixth engine could be made available if F1 goes over the 20 races though this would add to the already inflated costs the new V6 turbos have created.
Logistically some of the dates are also going to add to the costs with five back-to-back races planned and even a triple-header with Monaco, Montreal and the new New Jersey race in consecutive weeks. Some of the smaller teams have already suggested some of the long distances between some of the races could not only be a problem logistically but also financially.
Then there’s the team personnel who spend days even weeks away from their families traveling with the F1 circus. With the calendar now spanning nine of the 12 months, and a return of in-season testing, the stress and strain put on the mechanics and other employees is much increased.
It is not just the teams who will struggle with the extra work load, the world’s media will also face the additional costs of extra travel and time away as well as likely increased fees from Bernie Ecclestone due to the extra races.
For all my doubts however fans are excited at the prospect of four new races and a longer schedule and should better planning be put in place the extended schedule can work.
Of course planning such a schedule is not as easy as it sounds, with the travel back and fourth to Europe during the fly-away races you can’t just simply put all the Asian races in order of distance between the venues but better groupings of races such as the three races in the Americas to finish the season as well as other new pairings can keep the effects of an extended calendar on teams and other F1 stakeholders to a minimum.
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