Monza: Formula One teams will have to change their working practices next season to prevent a record 20-race calendar pushing staff to breaking point, according to Mercedes boss Ross Brawn.
Brawn told reporters at the Italian Grand Prix that the expanded championship, running from Bahrain on March 13 through to Brazil on Nov. 27, would put a particular burden on engineers.
"We want to have these extra races, it`s good for Formula One, but it`s reaching a critical stage in terms of people being able to cope," the Briton said.
Brawn said mechanics could be used in rotation, although cost-cutting measures and the ban on testing during the season meant the separate test teams had been disbanded.
"We have a small group of mechanics who rotate because occasionally someone will pick up an injury," he said of Mercedes.
"We`ve got a mechanic who`s got a bad back at the moment who`s not with us so we`ve got someone standing in for him."
"It becomes a bit more difficult with the engineers, because of course they are very closely linked with their drivers and I think we`ll have to think about their workload at the factory as well as at the circuit," added Brawn.
"People all have families and if you are away for 20 races, it`s a lot of time away from home."
"I think we are going to have to start thinking about particularly time available for people when they are not at the racetrack."
Brawn said the preservation of the European summer break, between Hungary on July 31 and Belgium on Aug 28, would be a major help.
However, there would still be big challenges with a calendar that includes four back-to-back race weekends -- Malaysia/China in April, Spain/Monaco in May, Germany/Hungary in July and Japan/South Korea in October.
India is the new addition to the calendar on Oct. 30.