Previously the team bosses had been worried about the impact of next year's calendar growing to as many as 21 or 22 races after the announcement that the championship would be returning to Austria in 2014, but McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh had been canny enough to suggest that it might simply be a case that Bernie Ecclestone was lining up some 'spare' events in case anything happened.
"There's always - in this climate - locations that maybe in doubt and therefore having some back ups isn't a bad idea," he told reporters on Saturday. "So I don't know if the calendar would grow to 22, but 22 would certainly be incredibly tough on the teams.
"But that's the business we're in - we used to think that going beyond 16 was going to be tough. It is tough, and of course a lot more of them are outside Europe now," he added.