Whitmarsh doubts 21-race 2014 calendar
11 June 2013 – McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has expressed doubt over the chances of the 2014 Formula 1 calendar featuring 21 Grands Prix, an increase of two rounds and an overall total that would mark an all-time record in the sport's 64-year history.
With races at the Sochi Olympic Park Circuit in Russia and a dedicated street circuit in New Jersey set to join the roster next season, and no other races set to make way, Whitmarsh reckons races being lost at their expense is a very real prospect.
"I don't know whether there will be 21, but I've heard the stories of a variety of new venues, from Russia to talk of New Jersey again," Whitmarsh said of the ongoing calendar uncertainty. "They're both important territories, but whether all the other dates on the calendar survive, I don't know. 21 is a lot of races, that's for sure."
With 20 races staged in 2012, and 19 dates on the current calendar, Whitmarsh says a tipping point is being reached in terms of teams being able to function efficiently.
"We've had 19 races this year and 20 races last year, and I know it's only one more but we've been saying that since we had about 14 races and most of those were in Europe," Whitmarsh went on to explain. "It gets quite tough for the team."
Adding to the threat of an increased calendar, in-season testing will return in 2014, with four gatherings expected to take place following a selection of European races.