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Is 20 races too much for F1?

For the supporters of Formula One, we probably can never get enough.

But for those who work in Formula One, the thought of expanding the season to 20 for the 2012 Formula One season is a tough one.

For the mechanics and the team members, Formula One is fast becoming the sport that never sleeps.

In January they begin to build a car that has already been in the planning for months, in February they begin to test it ready for the start of the season in March.

In 2012 the season begins in Australia before the circus moves on to Malaysia, China and Bahrain before they return to Europe in May.

A fly-away trip to Canada is then scheduled for June, before the long-haul races return at the end of the season with trips to Japan, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi, United States and then finally ending at the end of November in Brazil.

The travel schedule is gruelling enough, but throughout the season, despite no on track testing, the teams are working continually on the simulators in the factories, trying to find a slight adjustment to send out to the team wherever they are in the world, to give their drivers an update package which will hopefully improve the car by thousandths of a second [you only need to look at Ferrari in India to notice that not every alteration is an improvement].

A part from a mandatory two-week break in the season and December the Formula One schedule never stops and McLaren boss and Formula One Teams' Association chairman Martin Whitmarsh believes that teams will begin to feel the strain if all the events go ahead.

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

'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.'

McLaren driver and 2009 F1 Champion Jenson Button added: 'For us [the drivers], the amount of races doesn't matter, but you have to think about the guys who work non-stop, the mechanics and the engineers.

'It is a massive difference with regard to the hours they have to do over a race weekend, and it's those guys that are definitely on the limit, not us.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 3 2011

Time: 1:00PM


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