Mexico and a new race on the streets of New Jersey are among three grands prix listed provisionally on a record 22-round Formula 1 calendar, issued by the governing FIA on Friday.
The inaugural Grand Prix of the Americas, to be staged against a backdrop of New York’s Manhattan skyline, had looked doubtful earlier in the year when it was absent from a draft calendar circulated to teams.
“The entire Grand Prix of America team is thrilled to join the 2014 FIA calendar and we look forward to bringing world-class F1 racing to New Jersey,” race promoter Leo Hindery, Jr. said in a statement.
The Korean Grand Prix, which moves from an October date to April 27, and the return of Mexico City as the penultimate race, on Nov. 16 after a 22-year absence also had asterisks against them on the list published by the International Automobile Federation.
Russia will make its F1 debut with a grand prix in 2014 Winter Olympics venue Sochi on Oct 5. and Austria’s Red Bull-owned Spielberg circuit returns the country to the grand prix calendar on June 22, after a decade’s absence.
Whether the long-awaited New Jersey race is confirmed for June 1 remains to be seen, although F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone and sponsors have long sought a grand prix on the East Coast.
The United States also has a race in Austin, Texas, scheduled for Nov. 9.
The Indian Grand Prix near New Delhi has been dropped, as previously announced, with organisers hoping to return in 2015.
The calendar – which has never before gone beyond 20 races – sees New Jersey sandwiched between Monaco on May 25 and the Canadian race in Montreal on June 8.
The novelty of a ‘triple header’, particularly the quick turnaround after Monaco, could pose considerable logistical problems for the teams and will fuel scepticism about it ultimately going ahead.
Many of the teams are wary of expanding the calendar, which has 19 races this year, beyond 20 rounds because of the impact on key personnel such as engineers and mechanics as well as the extra costs involved.
“It remains to be seen which one is dropped,” a team principal told Reuters this month after earlier seeing the schedule which at that stage ‘only’ contained 21 races.
New Jersey had been due to make its debut last year but that plan was postponed for financial reasons and Ecclestone has sounded repeated warnings since then.
The 82-year-old was quoted by CNN in August as saying that the race was ‘not on the cards’ for next year because the organisers ‘haven’t got any money’, while telling Reuters separately that he had not written it off.
The season will start in Australia on March 16, followed by the annual trip to Malaysia two weeks later. It will end in Brazil on 30 November.
Apart from the triple header, there will be five other back-to-back pairings if the provisional races are confirmed: Malaysia and Bahrain, China and Korea, Germany and Hungary, Russia and Japan and Austin and Mexico. (GMM.)
Subbed by AJN.
2014 Formula 1 World Championship calendar:
- March 16 – Australia (Melbourne)
- March 30 – Malaysia (Sepang)
- April 6 – Bahrain
- April 20 – China
- *April 27 – Korea
- May 11 – Spain (Barcelona)
- May 25 – Monaco
- *June 1 – New Jersey
- June 8 – Canada (Montreal)
- June 22 – Austria (Spielberg)
- July 6 – Silverstone
- July 20 – Germany (Hockenheim)
- July 27 – Hungary (Budapest)
- Aug. 24 – Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
- Sept. 7 – Italy (Monza)
- Sept. 21 – Singapore
- Oct 5 – Russia (Sochi)
- Oct. 12 – Japan (Suzuka)
- Oct 26 – Abu Dhabi
- Nov 9 – United States (Austin)
- *Nov. 16 – Mexico (Mexico City)
- Nov 30 – Brazil (Sao Paulo)