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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)

2014 F1 calendar, what we know, what we think we know and what we don’t know - September 9, 2013 by admin
Bernie Ecclestone

Mr Bernie Ecclestone Photo Courtesy of Nick J Webb

So a provisional calendar was released for the 2014 season on 5th September. What we can read from this though is limited and it really is provisional and not necessarily an indication of contracts for races, or lack of them, or a confirmation that certain new races will be ready on time.

There are three new races on the 21 race calendar but this could still become 4 new races on a 22 race calendar. Of the new races on the calendar though 2 are subject to confirmation as is the Korean Race.

Before we get on to the new races let’s talk about the existing races, the Korean race could very easily drop off the calendar next year and if not then soon, the race – at Yeongam in the countries rural and relatively remote south west corner – is reported to be loss making and government funding may be withdrawn.The race taking place is going to be down it seems to a new contract with a lower fee being agreed, the fact that the Korean Grand Prix is even provisionally on the calendar suggests both sides are willing to negotiate at least.

Other interesting things to notice include the Spanish Grand Prix talking place at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona again – and not at the Valencia Street Circuit that it at one point seemed would alternate the Spanish Grand Prix with Barcelona – and the German Grand Prix returns to Hockenheim again, this perhaps is less surprising and seeing if the race will still go to the Nurburgring the year after is more of an issue. Since the calendar was released we have also heard that the Bahrain race will become another night race.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is on the calendar and isn’t subject to confirmation, some have suggested that the race’s days are numbered with the Russian race joining the calendar next year and FOM wanting to cut the number of European races. The Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi circuit though is still subject to confirmation and a lot of reports have said the circuit won’t be ready in time, the Winter Olympics take place on the same site at the beginning of the year (in February), giving organisers until October 19th to prepare but with the circuit surface already mainly down there is no reason to believe this couldn’t happen.

the Sochi circuit as it will appear in 2014

How the finished track will appear: Image from Formula Sochi


It was perhaps even more of a surprise for most people that the Mexican race is provisionally on the calendar and although the support for such a race is obviously there now with two mexicans – Perez at Mclaren and Guittirez at Sauber – in F1 a Mexican race was perhaps inevitable but few expected it to happen quite so quickly. A race in Mexico City will take place on the 9th of Novemeber it seems though and although there is no reason to doubt this the details are still thin on the ground, maybe 2015 is more likely.

The Austrian Grand Prix seems fairly straight forward compared to the Russian and Mexican races, the circuit is there, both the circuit owners and Bernie want a race in Austria it seems, there is a history of and following for F1 in Austria and with the Red Bull Ring owned by Red Bull co-founder Materschitz finances aren’t really an issue.

What then of the potential 22nd race, some would be incredulous at the idea of having a 22 race season but we’ve lost count of how many times Bernie has put a cap on the number of races in the season and then exceeded it. Still though many are now very doubtful this race, the New Jersey race at Port Imperial, will happen for other reasons. This was going to be a street circuit, meaning there is no circuit lying unused, but some construction work on the pit and paddock buildings began but there is still no news on the funding for this race. However as the source of the funding was never public in the first place we would be unlikely to know anything until after the cheque is in Bernie’s pocket: he says the race could still happen and we wouldn’t expect him to let his long term dream, of having a race with a bad drop of the New York city skyline, go too easily.

The 2014 F1 Calendar(provisional:

16th March – Australian Grand Prix (Albert Park, Melbourne)
23rd March – Malaysian Grand Prix (Sepang, Kuala Lumpur)
6th April – Chinese Grand Prix (Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai)
13th April – Korean Grand Prix* (Korea International Circuit, Yeongam)
27th April – Bahrain Grand Prix (Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir)
11th May – Spanish Grand Prix (Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona)
25th May – Monaco Grand Prix (Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo)
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 – Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka International Circuit, Suzuka)
19th October – Russian Grand Prix* (Olympic Park, Sochi)
26th October – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Marina, Yas Island)
9th November – Mexican Grand Prix* (Mexico City)
16th November – United States Grand Prix (Circuit of the Americas, Austin)
30th November – Brazilian Grand Prix (Interlagos, Sao Paulo)

Rumours of return of Mexico GP in 2013 look well founded - May 30, 2012 by admin
the hermanos rodriguez circuit

New home of the Mexican Grand Prix? The Hermanos Rodriguez circuit as it appears today, photo by Mequetrefe

There have been rumours of a Mexico Grand Prix returning since at least the beginning of last season when Sergio Perez came on to the scene, with backing from the World’s richest man Carlos Slim of Telmex.

 

It seems that Carlos Slim now through Telmex is giving backing to the return of the Mexican Grand Prix and reports in Spanish Newspaper Marca have the Grand Prix set to return in 2013 for the first time since 1992 and at the same Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, in Mexico City, which hosted the 1992 race.

 

Backing also comes from a number of other Mexican brands including Interprotección and Tequila Cuervo and also the Minstry of Tourism: keen to see the race go ahead and bring in tourists while enhancing the country’s image. The race is reported to be taking the gap left by the European Grand Prix in Valencia, which will alternate as the home of the Spanish Grand Prix with the Circuit de Catalunya.

 

The newspaper even reported that contracts have been agreed, though not necessarily signed, between the Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone though no official word has come from either side yet to confirm what is believed to be a five year deal.

 

What puts doubt into our minds however is the fact that the race is apparently scheduled for 2013 and a lot of work is needed on the Mexico City circuit to get it up to standard and get it homologated in time for a race even late in 2013.

 

Add to this the fact the report in Marca also mentions that no work will be begun until after the Mexican elections in July and the race suddenly looks less certain. If the race depends on Felipe Calderon, who will not be running in 2012 as in Mexico a president can only hold office for one term, then this could turn into another situation like that in France where the new government look set to at least delay the reinstatement of the French Grand Prix.

 

Two times GP winner Pedro Rodriquez

Two times GP winner Mexican Pedro Rodriquez, photo copyright Mick Dodsworth

The Hermanos Rodriguez circuit,  translated meaning The Rodriguez Brothers Circuit, is named in honour of Mexican drivers Pedro and Riccardo Rodriguez, both Mexican heroes who Perez is now being compared with: both Rodriguez brothers were considered future World Champions but died before they had the chance to fulfil their potential.

 

We will of course listen out for any news from Bernie Ecclestone, the circuit owners, promoters or the office of the Mexican President and bring you news on the 2013 Mexico Grand Prix as we get it.

 

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