Ecclestone insists that there will only be 20 races in 2014

Bernie Ecclestone with Jean Todt

Bernie Ecclestone with Jean Todt

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has played down suggestions that next year’s grand prix calendar could feature an unprecedented 22 races in 2014.

The reports, including in the Italian magazine Autosprint, followed this week’s surprise news that Austria will stage a grand prix next year, after a ten-year absence.

There are 19 races on the 2013 schedule, with Russia and New Jersey also scheduled to join next year.

However, O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent Livio Oricchio said that the prospect of a much longer calendar is “something that greatly concerns” Formula 1 team bosses.

“The issue will surely be discussed at the Hungaroring in the coming days,” he added.

That discussion, however, may no longer be necessary, in the wake of Formula 1 chief executive Ecclestone’s comments on Wednesday.

He told Austria’s Kleine Zeitung newspaper: “We will have 20 races [next year], Austria included. Everything else I don’t know – please ask me again after the summer.”

Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda said that he suspects that New Jersey will not take place in 2014.

“It didn’t happen this year, because of a lack of money,” Lauda told the ORF broadcaster. “As far as I know, it’s already gone from the calendar.” (GMM)

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  • David Lonsdale

    This once glorious sport is in danger of losing its dignity. I find the “you can have a GP if you hand over wads” an affront to the teams and fans. We deserve better leadership than this.