McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has claimed that expanding the F1 calendar beyond the 20 races planned for next season would push teams to breaking point and could lead to the need for alternate crews to be employed.

Next season's schedule features more races than ever before, although a number of the 20 races planned as far from secure - with Bahrain and Korea in particular having a question mark surrounding them.

Moving forwards, an increasing number of races are set to join the calendar in future - such as New Jersey and Russia - but Whitmarsh warned that teams would be pushed to the limit if more than 20 races were on the schedule.

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"Twenty races and a lot of fly-aways is pretty hard on the team, and we're at the tipping point," he told the BBC. "We shouldn't have any more than 20.

"We're getting close to the point where you do need to alternate crews, like in NASCAR. Obviously, the world championship is important, but every grand prix as a stand-alone event is very special."

Whitmarsh added that the 2012 season was already going to be a challenge for teams, with the late finish to 2011 having a knock-on effect on the year ahead.

"I know there is always the chase of money, but 20 is a lot and we're right on the limit of what we should be. I think we can cope with it (next year) but it is very hard because by the time the team strips down and returns after Brazil [the final race of this season, on 27 November], then it will be December.

"In January those same guys will be building the car, and then in February testing it, and then they're into a flog around the world. It's an incredibly difficult, challenging job for the mechanics, technicians and engineers."