F1 team bosses express concern of prospect at 2014 calendar stretching over 20 races
Speculation continues as to the length of next season's schedule
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 26/07/13 6:05pm
Earlier this week, it was announced that Austria had agreed a deal with Bernie Ecclestone to return to next year's calendar. With both Russia and New Jersey also holding contracts to debut next season, the announcement has opened up the possibility of a 22-race schedule - three more than this year and the longest in the sport's history.
Yet opposition is mounting in the paddock against further escalation, with a number of team bosses warning of the human cost in their press conference at the Hungaroring on Friday.
"Any more than twenty would be difficult for a small team to service," cautioned Marussia's John Booth. "We would start drifting into the area of back-up crew to rotate staff, which is very expensive."
Booth's concerns were echoed by Williams' Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams.
"Twenty races is a lot of races for team personnel to go to and have to manage," she said. "Anything more than that would be a significant difference for everybody."
On behalf of the Mercedes team, Toto Wolff added: "There is a consensus about doing twenty races. It's a good number."
Whether a 22-race calendar is proposed in any case remains to be seen. Serious doubts about the feasibility of the New Jersey event - due to have been held this year for the first time before being deemed unready - have heightened in recent weeks, while Korea, India and Germany have all been suggested as candidates to make way for Austria and Russia.
The prospect of the German GP - currently on rotation between the Nurburgring and Hockenheim - being removed from the calendar has, however, been met with alarm.
"All European races are very important, it's where grands prix were born, and we need to maintain them for as long as possible," commented Booth, with Franz Tost of Toro Rosso adding: "We need to have more races in Europe and not just go overseas."