Ferrari's Felipe Massa calls for changes to 2014 calendar after provisional list issued
Brazilian says schedule as it stands is "not really comfortable"
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 03/10/13 8:23am
Following the leaking of a draft 21-race list at the Italian GP last month, the FIA published an official, albeit provisional, first version of next season's schedule with what would be a record 22 races included on the list.
While the sheer size of the season has already caused consternation in some quarters - F1's record number of grand prix in a season stands at 20 from last year - the composition of the race dates, and accompanying logistical arrangements, has also provoked concern.
Speaking in Thursday's Drivers' Press Conference in Korea, Ferrari driver Massa suggested the 2014 calendar as it stood was far from ideal.
"It's a lot to think about because it's not really comfortable, not just for us a driver but for the team," said the Brazilian, who is currently searching for a 2014 drive.
"With a little bit better thinking I think you can do a much better calendar for next year."
Elaborating on his criticisms of the schedule, Massa explained that it was the way the grands prix had been arranged on the list, rather than the number, that was causing him concern.
For example, for only the second time since 2007, the Australian GP is not currently scheduled to run back-to-back with Malaysia, while the sport is scheduled to then return to the Far East for a China/Korea double-header having already flown from Kuala Lumpur to Bahrain in the Middle East several weeks before.
The schedule also contains an unprecedented triple header of races, with just a week between Monaco and New Jersey's proposed debut on the schedule, while Japan is the second leg of a double header with Russia.
"The problem is that you go to Japan and then you're not going to another race straight away, then you're going back to Europe and then you're coming back here [East]," Massa added.
"You can do many races, not a problem, but you need to do it in a better way."
Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton admitted he personally didn't have an issue with the expansion of the calendar, but acknowledged that any increase in travelling was a prospect unlikely to be welcomed by team members.
"I love racing so I would do many more if I had to, but as Felipe said, it is difficult on the team," he said.
"The year is getting so long - I think we're already testing in January [next year], so it's not a lot of downtime for the guys back at the factory or us people that are travelling."