2013 F1 calendar to have only 19 races
The first of this year’s World Motor Sport Council meeting has been held at Geneva this past Friday and an official confirmation was made on the 2013 F1 calendar. The long eluded 20th race had never come into existence as none of the expected venues made the cut to slot in for the third race in July. When FIA released the provisional calendar back in September, there were as many races as similar to 2012, with a second race in America being the replacement for Valencia.
But the ambiguous New Jersey race was pulled out of the calendar a month later, due to the lack of preparations and concerns raised over the consents it had to pursue from government authorities to host an event. From Bernie’s words, it was clear that the time ran out already for Weehawken to host a GP for 2013.
“If they came up with the contract with us and we were satisfied, the question is could they carry out the work in six months? Winter in New York is not good.” said Bernie.
The NJ race promoters are confident and hopeful that the race would be scheduled mid-way through next year, with a little support from Bernie as the necessary permits are all set in place and come September, the asphalt will be laid to make the street course flat and up to F1 standards.
Earlier, in order to accommodate an European race which fills up the void left by NJ, the returning German GP at Nurburgring was moved forward a week from July 14 making it back-to-back British and German races. This has impacted the Goodwood Festival of Speed show dates, as it would coincide with the German GP. With F1 being an integral part of the festival, the 20th anniversary edition will now take place on 12-14 July, with the Moving Motor Show being held on the 11th of July.
Many circuits’ bid to stage a race on July 21 unfortunately failed, as the likes of the Red Bull Ring in Austria, Magny Cours and Paul Ricard in France, Algarve in Portugal, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico have all tried their luck. However, the Istanbul track was the hot favourite to be included in the calendar but the organisers wouldn’t agree with Bernie’s terms once again.
Nevertheless, Ecclestone is very keen at having more races added to the calendar. New Jersey GP could be on its way for next year. With the works for Russian GP at Sochi’s Olympic Park up and running, and Thailand announcing its desire for a race slot, there could be more than 20 Grand Prix to be scheduled for coming years.
Here is the official 2013 F1 calendar:
The only major change is the Japanese and Korean races being switched.