Changes Brewing for 2014 F1 Calendar
Earlier this past month, a preliminary 2014 Formula One calendar was drafted which included a record 22 races across every single continent. The problem, though, was logistics.
For instance, the season opener in Australia was separated from round two in Malaysia by a two-week gap. That would not be out of the ordinary, were it not for their close proximity to each other. What that two-week gap now means is that the teams have to go home after Australia and then fly back out to Malaysia two weeks later, when having the races one week apart would be much more cost effective.
Along with the Australia/Malaysia logistical issue, there are three races which face elimination from the calendar. New Jersey and Mexico were two proposed races for 2014 (the former actually slated to take place this season, but lost out on a spot due to financial problems), but are now understood to be off the calendar for good. Their elimination from the calendar will be made official at the council this December.
The other race facing potential exclusion from the calendar is Korea. The South Korean race has faced axing ever since the inaugural race in 2010. Attendance has been scarce each year, and the facilities are sub-par at best. Add that to the fact that the track is abandoned for the whole year besides the time Formula One is there, and you hardly get a recipe for a roaring Grand Prix success.
Korea was slotted into the 2014 calendar with an April date, as opposed to the normal October one. This concerned event organizers as that time of the year is usually very wet, rainy and altogether unpleasant for F1. Now the venue faces potential elimination from the calendar for good.
A major development in regards to the calendar is that Abu Dhabi looks set to host the 2014 season finale after having hosted it in both 2009 (its inaugural race) and 2010. To accommodate the changes mentioned earlier, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said some rearranging of the calendar will have to be made, particularly at the tail end, with the result meaning Brazil will lose its year-end slot.
An added benefit to Abu Dhabi’s place at the end of the season means F1 teams can stay on afterwards to carry out postseason testing. All of these potential changes are to be discussed at the FIA Motorsport Council in Paris on December 6.