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Michael: Teams can cope with expansion

McLaren's Sam Michael insists that F1 teams can cope with planned expansions to the calendar for the 2014 season
McLaren Sporting Director Sam Michael insists that F1 teams can cope with what is set to be the biggest ever F1 calendar next year.

The FIA announced a record-breaking 22 race calendar at the latest meeting of the World Motor Sport Council last week, although three races of those races – in New Jersey, Mexico and Korea – are listed as provisional with no guarantees that they will take place.

If the calendar does go ahead as revealed by the governing body, it would include a triple-header of races in Monaco, New Jersey and Canada and while that would provide teams with a fresh challenge, Michael said there were ways in which they could adapt.

“Anything is possible,” he said during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in. “Obviously we can do a double-header, so once you've done that, you can also do a triple-header can't you when it comes to all the logistics.

“Equipment-wise you can be covered as long as you've got enough sets to leapfrog each other. However, equipment and planes and things don't get tired, people do. So it means that you have to perhaps consider the support crew that come and setup at a grand prix, perhaps they won't always necessarily be the same people.

“At the moment with a two-week break you can use your race crew to do a lot of the setup of garages and things but I think if you get in to triple-headers what you might have is a crew - which is not necessarily a big crew – that could go ahead and set-up a structure before the proper race team arrives.

"You may eventually get to a point where you have separate crews that actually crew the cars or even engineer the cars. I'm not sure we're at that point just yet, we'll have to wait and see."

Michael added that the financial cost for teams if they were to run a separate crew to carry out set-up work could be minimised by the money they would earn from additional races.

"I think that the cost of using people from McLaren - they're not necessarily additional employees - would be marginal compared to the income of additional Grands Prix,” he said.

"F1 is about achieving things that are not normally possible, and this is far from the worst challenge we have had."

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