Drivers admit concerns over swelling calendar

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Two Formula One drivers have admitted that they are concerned about the proposed twenty-two race calendar for the 2014 season, with the schedule set to push the eleven teams to the limit thanks to the great logistical effort involved with racing in the sport.

Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton both spoke in the drivers’ press conference ahead of the Korean Grand Prix about the situation, conceding that although the idea of more racing was incredibly appealing, it would place a massive strain on the entire paddock.

“I think it’s a lot to think about because it’s not really comfortable, not just for us as drivers but for the teams, so I think if there were a little bit better thinking behind it they can do a much better calendar for next year,” Massa explained.

“I think the problem is that there are races where you go to Japan and then you’re not going to another race straightaway, so you’re going back to Europe and then you’re coming back here. You can do many races – not a problem – but you need to do it in a better way.”

The schedule has raised many eyebrows, with the particular sticking point being a proposed triple-header comprising of Monaco, New Jersey (pictured) and Canada in the space of three weeks, giving teams very little time to leave the principality before heading to the United States. Although Hamilton was excited about there being more races, he acknowledged that it may prove to be unworkable.

“I love racing so I would do many more if I had to but as Felipe said, it’s difficult on the team,” he said. “The year’s getting so long. I think we’re already testing in January so there’s not a lot of down time for the guys back at the factory or us people who are travelling.”

2014 is shaping up to be the longest season in the history of Formula One, with the twenty-two races being complemented by four pre-season tests and four in-season tests.

Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

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While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

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