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GP Week : Issue 189
contract Monaco Singapore Abu Dhabi Austin 24/25/26 May 21 / 22 September 1 / 3 November 15/16/17 November AMBER LOUNGE THE ULTIMATE VIP GRAND PRIX EXPERIENCE 2013 CELEBRATING 10 YEARS VIP Parties Fashion Shows Dining Hospitality Live Acts BlackBook-210x282.indd 1 01/03/2013 17:52 F1 >>> nEWs provISIoNAl cAlENDAr rAISES qUESTIoNS Formula One looks set for a record 21 races next year, according to a draft calendar doing the rounds in the Monza paddock which surprisingly excludes commercial supremo Bernie ecclestone’s pet project for a race around the streets of New Jersey. However, with teams not keen for more than 20 races in a year, the calendar – still at a provisional stage – could well go through some chopping and changing before it is placed before the FIA’s World Motorsport Council later this month for approval. Ecclestone himself denied that the calendar – which was issued by FOM – was accurate, telling journalists in Monza that the real draft calendar allowed for 22 grands prix. While the New Jersey race has been left off the published calendar, Press Association journalist Ian Parkes broke the news that its absence was a matter of paperwork – the race organisers have yet to submit the appropriate paperwork to the National Sporting Authority, and until that step has been completed the grand prix cannot be added to the draft schedule. Mexico City is scheduled to play host to the Mexican Grand Prix for the first time in over two decades. The last race there, in 1992, was won by Nigel Mansell in a Williams with seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher claiming his maiden podium finish driving a Benetton. Austria is also set to make its Formula One return for the first time since 2003, while Russia will make its Grand Prix debut with a race in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. All of the races from this year’s 19- race- calendar will be carried over into next year except India, which has been dropped from its late- October slot and has been rescheduled for early 2015 instead as part of an agreement between race organisers and Ecclestone. The unloved Korean Grand Prix has been granted a stay of execution but the race has been moved from the back half of the season to be clubbed with the first Asian leg early in the year. Bahrain looks to have lost out on its bid to open the season, with Australia retaining its season- opening slot. With Korea provisionally twinned with China, the Bahrain race will be a standalone event, the fifth round of the year. If the 21 races do go ahead as planned – or if Ecclestone’s threats of 22 races prove true – 2014 will become the longest season in the history of the sport. Many team bosses have pushed back against slotting more and more races into an already packed calendar, saying 20 is a sensible limit, and with Korea, Mexico and Russia all being given only provisional slots the final calendar could well be limited to 19 or 20 grands prix. Draft 2014 Calendar: March 16 - Australia (Melbourne); March 23 - Malaysia (sepang); April 6 - China (shanghai); April 13 – Korea* (Korea International Circuit); April 27 – Bahrain (sakhir); May 11 – spain (Barcelona); May 25 – Monaco (Monaco); June 8 – Canada (Montreal); June 22 – Austria (Red Bull Ring); July 6 – Britain (silverstone); July 20 – Germany (Hockenheim); July 27 – Hungary (Budapest); August 24 – Belgium (spa); september 7 – Italy (Monza); september 21 – singapore (Marina Bay); October 5 - Japan (suzuka); October 19 – Russia* (sochi); October 26 – Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina); November 9 – Mexico* (Mexico City); November 16 – usA (Circuit of the Americas); November 30 – Brazil (Interlagos) *Yet to be confirmed 8 GPWEEK.com // 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: