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.

INDYCAR: Newgarden, Sato quickest in first of 2 Friday practices at Road America

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Josef Newgarden was quickest in the first of Friday’s two INDYCAR practice sessions at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion covered the 4.048-mile, 14-turn course with a best lap of 1:43.0477, followed by Takuma Sato (1:43.4729), Alexander Rossi (1:43.5603), Robert Wickens (1:43.5774) and Marco Andretti (1:43.8825).

Sixth-quickest was Tony Kanaan (1:44.0429), followed by Spencer Pigot (1:44.1080), Zach Veach (1:44.1306), Scott Dixon (1:44.1643) and Matheius Leist (1:44.2963).

Alfonso Celis Jr., making his Verizon IndyCar Series debut and with Juncos Racing, was 22nd quickest in the 23-car field at 1:44.9164, while Gabby Chaves was the slowest driver on the course at 1:46.4485.

While there were no significant incidents during the 45-minute session, a number of drivers struggled in several turns, primarily due to some lingering puddles from overnight rain, as well as on rumble strips that threw their cars into adjacent grass areas.

The second practice session today takes place at 4:15 p.m. ET.

A third practice kicks off Saturday’s busy day at Noon ET, followed by qualifying at 4 p.m. ET, the second round of qualifying at 4:40 p.m. ET and the third and final round of qualifying at 5 p.m. ET.

The weekend’s main event, Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix, takes the green flag shortly after 1 p.m. ET. Make sure to tune in to NBCSN for the live telecast of the race.

We’ll have the full practice grid and driver quotes shortly. Please check back soon.

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