Teams concerned over busy 2014 F1 calendar

2014 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jerez, 2012F1 team managers have expressed doubts over the viability of the FIA’s planned 2014 F1 calendar from a logistical and financial point of view.

Teams will be stretched next year with a biggest-ever schedule of 22 races, including races on consecutive weekends in Monaco, New Jersey and Canada, plus four two-day tests during the season.

Ferrari sporting director Massimo Rivola said the proposed calendar was too long: “To be honest I am still hoping we come back to the 20 races as per the current Sporting Regulations.”

“We will see. At the moment the calendar is not the best calendar possible to be honest in terms for logistics.

“The first race in Australia alone is not ideal, from the logistics side we would prefer to stop and do a race in a back-to-back coming from Australia. For sure there are some good commercial reasons behind that that I’m not aware but we will see when the calendar is 100% fixed.”

Mercedes’ sporting director Ron Meadows said having three races on consecutive weekends was the biggest challenge:

“We need to speak to FOM [Formula One Management] but in FOM we’ve got a fantastic partner who arrange all the logistics and they do a fantastic job. If they think it’s achievable then it’s achievable, they’ve never failed us yet.

“The financial aspect is give and take, rally. It opens up more doors. We probably will spend more on logistics but we’re going to get to see people in Russia, go back to Austria, we’re going to go to Mexico and it opens a lot more doors for sponsors, drivers, team members.”

Other teams expressed concerns over the cost and logistical implications of bringing back testing. Force India sporting director Andy Stevenson said: “For our team certainly the thing that we are going to find very difficult is the in-season testing.

“Four in-season tests are going to stretch us and that’s something we’re not looking forward to.”

Caterham team manager Graham Watson agreed: “It’s the in-season testing that’s probably going to push us to the edge. We had a meeting yesterday with the other teams and discussed the venues we were potentially going to go to and started to putting it down in the calendar it started to look like quite a daunting task.”

Long-serving Williams team manager Dickie Stanford pointed out that commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone does not discuss calendar arrangements with team managers before setting the schedule.

“No he doesn’t consult us,” said Stanford. “Whether he consults team principals, I don’t know.”

“We wait until we see the calendar before we know what’s going on.”

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30 comments on Teams concerned over busy 2014 F1 calendar

  1. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 4th October 2013, 9:35

    I personally find 22 races ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I love Formula 1, well I assume we all do, but 22 races per season is a bit too much. I feel that the races as a single entity themselves don’t feel as special or important anymore as they did back when we had 16-17 race calendars.

    • Nick (@nick-uk) said on 4th October 2013, 10:03

      I think ‘love’ is a strong word to be throwing around these days given the state the sport is in right now. I think 18 is an optimal amount, possibly even less like you say. What we have obtained in recent years is quantity over quality; with Texas being the only good new track added since Sepang.

    • MattJ said on 4th October 2013, 10:11

      I agree with you, 22 is too much. As it is now I don’t bother with a 3 or 4 races – I just catch some highlights. 22 is far too long a season and in fact think 20 is too many.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 4th October 2013, 22:40

      I’d like a race every weekend, obviously that’s logistically impossible but races arranged to travel from one to the closest next one in a continuous direction would allow more races in the calendar, remember there are 52 weekends per year.

  2. kcarrey (@kcarrey) said on 4th October 2013, 9:41

    nightmare merry go round of 22 races

  3. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 4th October 2013, 9:44

    To be honest, I’m not even convinced we’ll see 20 races. I’m certain that NJ won’t happen and am quite cynical about Korea, Russia and Mexico…

    • William (@william) said on 4th October 2013, 11:41

      Russia and Mexico are all definite to happen while Korea is 50-50 and New Jersey slim chance. But nearly all of them except for 1 should feature on the calendar next year.

  4. I prefer 19 Races per season than a 22 Race season.
    Yes , I Love F1 More but we have to consider that the Staff working at garages also need to Spend time freely. 22 races with a triple Header and 4*2 days of In- Season testing. The Costs will be high and the Batteries of People will get low by end of season.

  5. JCost (@jcost) said on 4th October 2013, 9:51

    I think in the world of today, it’s not dificult to get things or people from point A to point B on reasonable time; the question is: how much is it. Like Martin Whitmarsh puts it:

    “It is feasible, of course it is feasible, but it is expensive,”

    It’s also hard on human body to go around the world with little rest in few days. As a fan, I’d love to have 22 races, but I admit it should be extreme for teams.

  6. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 4th October 2013, 9:53

    Let’s see how full the stands are this weekend and then predict if Korea 2014 will happen.
    Or Mexico, Sochi and NJ . . .

    • William (@william) said on 4th October 2013, 10:29

      Sochi is confirmed as it is not provisonal, Korea should be there as it appears year after year. Korea says that they still want to be on the calendar despite the losses and hoping for a night race. Mexico will be finished for the construction work.

      • Strontium (@strontium) said on 4th October 2013, 16:45

        They all want to become night races!!! Too many. Korea should remain a day race in my view for now (although having Japan as a day-night race like Abu Dhabi would be good – it is an amazing circuit!)… We already have Bahrain becoming one (high chance of it at least).

        If there is one race to get the cut I think it’ll be Korea. If there is another one it will probably be one of the new venues, depending on current track progress, etc.)

  7. andae23 (@andae23) said on 4th October 2013, 10:21

    If anything became apparent during the press conference is that the team managers are generally shoved aside when making arrangements. The FIA and FOM come up with something, the teams should just make it work. It’s just one of the many failed communication opportunities between the teams, the FIA and the FOM. I honestly hope the restructuring of the FIA as David Ward envisions it will help things like this. If he gets elected, that is.

  8. i personally dont feel any problem with 22 races per season, they actually can earlier and end later.

  9. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 4th October 2013, 10:51

    Korea won’t be there, I say. The triple header looks like a disaster and shouldn’t happen. I don’t get the logic of teams going to Singapore and then coming back to Sochi and going again then to Asia. It is a very badly organised calendar. I think in summing up, Korea and NJ will not happen.

    • William (@william) said on 4th October 2013, 11:49

      I disagree about Korea, but I agree about NJ. Bernie might get a deal with the Koreans this weekend. The triple headers are for MotoGP not F1. Agree as it should be Australasia-Europe-Australasia-America.

  10. Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 4th October 2013, 11:28

    I think a 22 GP calender could be done, but the organizers certainly aren’t making it easy. As it stands we are jumping back and forth across the continents, with no real logic behind it.

    It would make more sense for the season to start of in Oceania/SE Asia (Australia/Malaysia/Singapore/India), before heading to mainland Asia (South Korea/China/Japan) through to Europe via Russia (Russia, Hungary, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Spain, Britain, Monaco), then the Middle East (Abu Dhabi, Bahrain), before finishing of in the Americas (Canada, USA, Americas, Mexico, Brazil)

    Doing it geographically seems to make more sense and would make the back to back weekends a lot more easier. Is there any reason why this couldn’t be done?

    • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 4th October 2013, 13:05

      I don’t think that it couldn’t be done in the manner you describe, but there are other influences and ‘fixed points’ involved.
      Monaco was traditionally held on the week of Ascension Day. It’s now held on what is Memorial Day Weekend in the United States. The entire F1 season seeks to avoid the Asian monsoon seasons. The European season should be between May and the end of September (climate!) and will try to miss clashing with all the other major sporting events like Le Mans and Wimbledon because of TV audiences – and there’s still a three week gap between Hungary and Spa for time off (when are the in-season tests scheduled for?). I doubt if there will be any races in Muslim countries during Ramadan.
      F1 will try to avoid a clash with the Indy 500 of course, sometime it can’t be helped though. Oh, and there’s the Football World Cup next year as well. Canada has to be between May and end September too, for climatic conditions (Sochi probably does too).
      Beyond that, the tracks themselves may not be available all year round – Moto GP etc – and road closures for the street races.
      I think if you took a calendar and crossed off all the non-available weekends country-by-country, it would compromise your otherwise sensible schedule suggestion.
      So, I’m not saying it’s impossible, but the considerations are . . . considerable!

      • BJ (@beejis60) said on 4th October 2013, 18:13

        I like the logistics @kibblesworth posted, and I’m sure there’s a way it can be worked out. Bernie always complains that the teams are spending too much, but I think he’s exacerbating the issue by having them trek all around the globe in an inefficient manner. Russia could be packaged into the Europe ‘section’ or the middle east leg of the calender, imo.

      • GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 4th October 2013, 18:51

        @timothykatz Thats pretty much spot on.

        The calender isn’t just thrown together, A lot of thought goes into when the best time to hold a race is & a lot of factors are looked at including what the weather is like in each location at each point in the year.
        There is also a lot of consultation with track owners to ensure the circuit is available & that no local events are scheduled (Not just other racing categories but also traditional festivals, other big events etc….) .

        Sepang was moved from a late slot to an early slot partly because the heat & humidity was almost unbearable when it was a late event in 1999/2000. However you can’t have Japan in an early slot because it trends to suffer from some more extreme weather earlier in the year (Not uncommon for early season SuperGT & Formula Nippon events to be called off due to early season extreme weather).

  11. canadianjoe (@canadianjoe) said on 4th October 2013, 12:56

    The only way a calendar this long makes sense is to have more races in Europe. the quality of the event is going to suffer, no time for new development. also this is a bad time to introduce an extended calendar, what with a new formula in 2014. the teams defiantly will have their hand full.

  12. israelrios (@israelrios) said on 4th October 2013, 13:14

    I want even more races, but the good ones must be kept.

  13. John H (@john-h) said on 4th October 2013, 14:42

    20 races feels like the correct limit for me. The team managers should complain in this instance because it seems like talking behind closed doors to Bernie is just not possible. We all love F1, but I think most of us realise that 22 different race weekends all over the world (F1 is the only truly global sport) is too much, and will probably reduce the quality of the formula.

    It’s just another one of those moments when I think of FOM and let out a *sigh* I’m afraid.

    • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 4th October 2013, 20:38

      +1 couldn’t agree more @john-h, still perhaps we should give it a shot and see if it is possible or not, Plenty of races on the calender that are not attracting enough attention or are in difficult political situation (Korea, Bahrain, etc…)

      As long as they keep the European season as it is with 6 a 7 races including Spa, Monza and Silverstone.

  14. Robbie (@robbie) said on 4th October 2013, 15:03

    Personally I have no problem with 22 races. I like the attitude that it opens up more doors for F1 and the sponsors involved. And I like that it might mean less time after the season ends before a new season begins. I realize there are some negatives for some teams too, but thats for FOM to sort out. eg. I think the in-season testing should add only minimally to costs (especially compared to the past) since they will be staying at venues after a race-weekend to do these tests, and one previous test has been eliminated in lieu of the ‘new’ in-season tests (the Young Drivers test).

  15. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 4th October 2013, 20:35

    I agree with the many statements that 22 races seem to much. I personnaly felt the 2012 season was perfect when it comes to long seasons. However perhaps we should just give it a try, see how it goes and adjust if neccesary for 2015.

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