Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jerez, 2012

Teams concerned over busy 2014 F1 calendar

2014 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

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.”

2013 Korean Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Korean Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2014 F1 seasonTags , , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 30 comments on “Teams concerned over busy 2014 F1 calendar”

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

        1. I think 21 is the sensible limit but mind you there will be a whole lot more for 2015 as there will be 23 or 22

      3. 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. nightmare merry go round of 22 races

    3. 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…

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

      1. 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.

        1. 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.)

          1. Suzuka at dusk would be awesome.

    7. 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. 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.

      1. 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. 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?

      1. 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!

        1. 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.

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

    13. 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.

      1. +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. 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. 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.

    16. I work 6 days a week, so to tell me they can’t work 22 races its a bit ridiculous, those people make tons of money, extra races means extra exposure which in turns is extra money, which they are all complaining they need. But it seems it doesn’t matter what you do in life, everyone wants more money and less work.

    17. Using Monaco as the constant as far as what weekend it is and using the 2014 calender for this (it’d work for other years too give or take a week), if they would start the series on the first Sunday of March that would allow 12 weeks before Monaco. They could easily get 8 races in before Monaco instead of 6 that is scheduled currently, heck they could possibly push it and get 9 or 10 but I think 8 would be ideal as then there would be 4 off-weeks for transport/dev/rest.

      If they must keep the 4 week break they should put it in June around Le Mans, 2 weeks before, the week of Le Mans and the week after. That would mean the break would come after Monaco which could be played up marketing wise as “After the tradition that is Monaco we take a break and rest up for the tradition that is Le Mans”. It would also give ample time for those involved with F1 to take part in Le Mans even if it’s just as a spectator taking their family and making a couple week vacation in the French countryside out of it.

      After the Le Mans break that would allow for 21 or 22 weeks to cover the remaining 13 races.

      Ok here is how I would do it for 2014.
      March 02 = Australia
      March 09 = Malaysia
      March 16 = OFF
      March 23 = China
      March 30 = Korea

      April 06 = OFF
      April 13 = Bahrain
      April 20 = Abu Dhabi
      April 27 = OFF

      May 04 = Great Britain
      May 11 = OFF
      May 18 = Spain
      May 25 = Monaco

      June 01 = OFF
      June 08 = OFF
      June 15 = OFF (Le Mans)
      June 22 = OFF
      June 29 = Russia

      July 06 = OFF
      July 13 = Hungary
      July 20 = Italy
      July 27 = OFF

      August 03 = Austria
      August 10 = Germany
      August 17 = Belgium
      August 24 = OFF
      August 31 = OFF

      September 07 = Singapore
      September 14 = Japan
      September 21 = OFF
      September 28 = OFF

      October 05 = Canada
      October 12 = New Jersey
      October 19 = OFF
      October 26 = Mexico

      November 02 = Brazil
      November 09 = OFF (pre championship media week at the big US news & sports shows)
      November 16 = Austin (for this to work, NASCAR Cup season finale would have to be Sunday night or Saturday night race)
      Week After = Champion Driver & Team media appearances in USA (ESPN, CNN, FOXNews ABC/CBS/NBC, etc) including Late Night Talk Shows

    Comments are closed.