“To be honest, I'm still hoping we come back to the 20 races, as per the current sporting regulation,” the Italian insisted, “I can say that, even for a top team, it's something almost impossible, to be honest. We have more freight, so it's not that a top team has such a big advantage having such a back-to-back. It's going to be almost impossible to do it. But as I said, we will see the real calendar and then we figure it out.
“At the moment, the calendar is not the best calendar possible in terms of logistics. Even the first race in Australia, [standing] alone, is not ideal. From the logistics side, I would prefer to stop and do a race in a back-to-back coming back from Australia. For sure, there are some good commercial reasons behind this that I am not aware of, but we will see. When the calendar is 100 per cent fixed, we will manage it.”
As well as the additional races, however, the return of in-season testing adds to the pressure on the teams, and some even believe that these sessions, even though they are scheduled to take place at circuits immediately after race weekends, could be the main problem in terms of managing workload on personnel.
“The schedule looks very interesting - and certainly challenging,” Force India's Andy Stevenson noted, “We like new venues and enjoy the challenge [but], for our team certainly, the thing that we are going to find very difficult is the in-season testing. The four in-season tests are going to stretch us and that's something we're not
looking forward to.
“We haven't focused on it too much just yet. It was only announced last week to the teams, or to the public in general, and we'll wait until the calendar has been ratified before we put any resource into understanding exactly how we will deal with it. As always in F1, if a challenge is put before us, we will make it work.”
“It's the in-season testing that's probably going to push us to the edge,” Caterham's Graham Watson agreed, “We had the meeting yesterday with the other teams and discussed the venues we were potentially going to go to. We started putting that down on a calendar and it started to look quite a daunting task.
“Obviously, we'll have to manage the personnel as best we can to achieve that. I think, like all regulation or rule changes that happen in F1, we all start off thinking 'how are we going to do that?' and, year in, year out, we seem to achieve it, get to the end of the year, look back, think 'OK' and move on to the next year.
“It is difficult when the calendar's not 100 per cent fixed and you're trying to pre-empt what's going to happen - but the Monaco to New York does look particularly challenging…”