2014 F1 calendar to feature 19 races as New Jersey, Korea and Mexico fail to make cut
Austria and Russia only new additions as FIA rubber-stamps schedule
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 13/03/14 3:31am
The Formula 1 season will stay at 19 races for 2014 after New Jersey, Mexico and South Korea as expected all failed to make the final calendar cut.
All three grands prix had been included on a provisional calendar issued by the FIA in September which proposed a record 22 races but they had all had dropped off a subsequent draft list circulated among the teams at the final rounds of the season.
The definitive 19-race schedule, the same number as this year, was duly confirmed on Wednesday as the World Motor Sport Council met during the FIA's Annual General Assembly week of events in Paris.
While the prospective Grand Prix of America in New Jersey, having already been postponed by one year, and a return to Mexico were always considered unlikely given the state of both venues' preparations, South Korea's failure to feature on the definitive list after four years is likely owing to financial difficulties at the little-used and remote Yeongam circuit.
The failure of New Jersey to make the cut for the second successive year will inevitably raise questions over whether the event at Port Imperial will ever see the light of day. However, organisers reacted swiftly to the confirmation of the 2014 schedule by stating that they were working on "restructured financial arrangements" with Bernie Ecclestone and looked forward to hosting a "first-class inaugural Grand Prix of America in 2015".
"There is great demand for a race in New Jersey and I have no doubt we'll be racing at Port Imperial in 2015," Ecclestone, F1's commercial supremo, said in a joint statement with race organisers."
While India had already decided to sit out 2014, the expected return of Austria, at the revamped Red Bull Ring, and the long-awaited arrival of Russia at a new venue at Sochi's Winter Olympic Park are the two new additions on next season's schedule.
The season as usual will kick off with the Australian GP, on March 16, but for the first time since 2007 the Melbourne event will not run back-to-back with Malaysia, which will instead be held a week ahead of the Bahrain GP on March 30.
This change comes despite teams expressing concerns about the logistical sense of a two-week break between the season's opening two flyaway events.
One significant change to the provisional calendar, however, is that Abu Dhabi and not Brazil will stage the season finale on November 23, the third time the Yas Marina circuit has been given the honour.
And after being moved forward to June for 2013, the British GP at Silverstone returns to a more traditional July 6 slot. The calendar features four back-to-back race weekends.
One of these is Japan and the inaugural race in Russia in October - the governing body having switched the provisional dates, presumably to minimise the risk of any logistical problems at the new venue.
2014 race calendar & Sky F1 schedule
March 16: Australia - Exclusively live.
March 30: Malaysia - Live.
April 6: Bahrain - Exclusively live.
April 20: China - Exclusively live.
May 11: Spain - Live.
May 25: Monaco - Exclusively live.
June 8: Canada - Live.
June 22: Austria - Exclusively live.
July 6: Great Britain - Live.
July 20: Germany - Exclusively live.
July 27: Hungary - Exclusively live.
August 24: Belgium - Live.
September 7: Italy - Live.
September 21: Singapore - Exclusively live.
October 5: Japan - Live.
October 12: Russia - Live.
November 2: USA - Exclusively live.
November 9: Brazil - Exclusively live
November 23: Abu Dhabi - Live.