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FIA World Motor Sports Council release 2014 F1 Calendar - September 28, 2013 by admin
Paris Headquarters of the FIA

Paris Headquarters of the FIA, photo by Phanuruch Phongsutilak

Of course no race is definite until the circuit is homogulated by the Fia, to confirm it is safe for racing and for spectators at Formula One level. For this reason at least the New Jersey, Mexican and Russian races on the latest F1 Calendar released for 2014 may not go ahead but there still may be more to it than this.

This is the most official calendar yet, it has been confirmed by the FIA World Motor Sports Council rather than the previous Calendar which was released unofficially by FOM, as far as anyone knows at least. Many now believe the early release of this calendar that had 21 races and didn’t include the New Jersey Race was leaked by FOM to push the News Jersey Race Promoters to get their house in order and possibly to come up with some of the money for staging the race, now scheduled for 1st of June.

Whether everything is sorted though is another mater and the New Jersey Race and Mexican Races are still subject to confirmation, interestingly though the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi isn’t though the circuit there isn’t complete. There may be more than give the circuit the once over before these races are confirmed then. For Mexico this isn’t surprising, these are early days and we are yet to hear much about the race, set to take place in MexicoCity. We know it is going to be a street circuit but the location and layout is still unclear.

There is no reason to believe the New Jersey race probably won’t happen, presumably Bernie Ecclestone still believes it is worth putting time into negotiations and there must be people with the potential to fund the race to talk to.

2014 could be a 22 race season then, but don’t be surprised if it is 21, 20 or even possibly 19 races with Korea also yet to be confirmed as they try to negotiate more favourable terms, though indications are that this is close to happening. There are also questions about how rules on engines for the season will now work with an extra two races to recovered by 5 engines: some believe Bernie is keeping two races, possibly including Korea, on the calendar for now with the notion of dropping them if Mexico and New Jersey come off.

The 2014 season F1 Race Calendar as released on the 27th of September 2013

16th March – Australian Grand Prix (Albert Park, Melbourne)
30th March – Malaysian Grand Prix (Sepang, Kuala Lumpur)
6th April – Bahrain Grand Prix (Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir)
20th April – Chinese Grand Prix (Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai)
27th April – Korean Grand Prix* (Korea International Circuit, Yeongam)
11th May – Spanish Grand Prix (Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona)
25th May – Monaco Grand Prix (Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo)
1st June – Grand Prix of America* (Port Imperial, New Jersey)
8th June – Canadian Grand Prix (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal)
22nd June – Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring, Spielberg)
6th July – British Grand Prix (Silverstone, Northamptonshire)
20th July – German Grand Prix (Hockenheimring, Hockenheim)
27th July – Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring, Budapest)
24th August – Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Franchorchamps, Spa)
7th September – Italian Grand Prix (Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza)
21st September – Singapore Grand Prix(Marina Bay, Singapore)
5th October – Russian Grand Prix (Olympic Park, Sochi)

12th October – Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka International Circuit, Suzuka)
26th October – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Marina, Yas Island)
9th November – United States Grand Prix (Circuit of the Americas, Austin)
16th November – Mexican Grand Prix* (Mexico City)
30th November – Brazilian Grand Prix (Interlagos, Sao Paulo)

Plans for Greek Grand Prix officially submitted - August 14, 2012 by admin
Europe's busiest Passenger port Piraeus, photo by Andrea Mayer-Edoloeyi

Europe's busiest Passenger port Piraeus, photo by Andrea Mayer-Edoloeyi

Following much discussion within and outside of Greece as to whether Greece should even be considering a Grand Prix given its financial situation let alone whether such a project is viable in terms of interest within the country, a plan has been submitted.

 

Kostas Tzavaras a Greek Member of parliament has been ones of the countries politicians to put his support behind the race which organisers believe will actually boost the economy and pay for itself bringing in tourists. Mr Tzavaras has been quoted as saying in reference to the race: “The priority of the government has to be the creation of instruments, which will help the country’s development “.

 

It certainly seems that Greece will need tourists to attend the race in a country with no history in F1 the track is set to be at Piraeus Athen’s main port to the south of the city the hope would be fans would stay in the city, go to the nearby beaches along the coast or they could get a ferry from Piraeus itself which is the main gateway to Greece’s many islands with their holiday resorts.

 

The circuit would be likely to have some resemblance to the Valencia circuit, also based around a harbour and not a permanent track though Valencia has, until this year at least, failed to create exciting races and has also failed to bring in enough spectators. Nearby Turkey has also struggled to make F1 work in a country with no historical link to the sport of famous drivers and the Turkish Grand Prix is no longer on the calendar and the Istanbul Park Circuit rarely used.

 

Not being a permanent circuit the investment required would be less, though the cost per race thereafter would remain high, the decision now though is in the hands of Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One Management as well as the FIA who now have the full plans put together by architect Thanasis Papatheodorou, meaning this could be the first new circuit for several years not to be designed by Hermann Tilke.

 

 

Singapore Grand Prix agreement claimed by FOM - July 14, 2012 by admin
Cars often get close to the wall at Singapore

The Singapore street circuit, photo by Colina Tion

The Singapore Grand Prix has it seems agreed a new contract, at least  in principal with Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One Management, the five year contract will take the night time Grand Prix through until 2017. However though this agreement seemed to have been announced by Bernie Ecclestone the Singapore Grand Prix’s organisers later stated that discussions were on going with FOM.

 

Minister for Trade and Industry Mr S Iswaran has since told the Singapore Parliament that the contract will be renewed “only if the terms for a full five-year extension are economically viable” suggesting there are perhaps still stumbling blocks though he went on to say “We hope to see a mutually agreeable outcome soon,”.

 

Bernie Ecclestone certainly seems to want the Singapore Grand Prix to stay on the calendar and has stated that the race has been good for F1; if no new agreement is signed then there is still a two year extension option that if taken up would see the race continue until 2014.

 

 

Korean GP savings should see it remain until 2016 - March 19, 2012 by admin
2010 Korean Grand Prix

2010 Korean Grand Prix, photo by Waegook Cook

Korean Grand Prix Organisers and the the South Jeolla province government  have announced they have come to a new deal with Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One Management to continue hosting the race but with cheaper fees.

 

The race hasn’t yet been a success though many hope that this will come with time once more Koreans have watched the races on TV and made the decision to visit the rural south west of South Korea to attend the race at the Yeongam circuit. This is however also what the Turkish Grand Prix organisers had hoped but after years of poor attendance that race has dropped off of the calendar and the Istanbul Park circuit did at last have the advantage of being popular with TV viewers and the drivers: Korea’s Yeongam circuit in contrast has been a little disappointing.

 

The Korean Grand Prix is seen as important for the South Jeolla Province it is in though and for the economy of the nation as a whole. A new high rise city is planned to be built around the Yeongam circuit to totally change the feel and focus of the area: attracting in more industry and technology companies.

 

The Grand Prix then is important to bring focus to the region and to give it a high tech image but the race is understood to have been losing so much money that it was simply not sustainable. Savings of US$20.5 million will hopefully make the race sustainable for the rest of its contract that ends in 2016; the savings will start from this year and include a US$17.6million saving on a TV license to FOM.

 

It is understood that the total to be paid will now be around US$53 million though receipts last year were only around US$23 million leaving a US$30 million shortfall for the local government to find, it is hoped new sponsorship deals may help to bridge the gap but this again depends on interest within the country.

 

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