Formula 1

F1 reveals bumper 21-race calendar for 2016

2015 Australian Grand Prix

For the second year running the FIA has released a Formula 1 calendar with 21 races. Like last year, it remains to be seen if we’ll actually see all of those races take place.

As it stands the 2016 season is set to kick off in Australia on 3 April, with the Chinese Grand Prix to take place the following weekend.

Increasing the demand on the teams there will be another five back-to-back race weekends including: Bahrain and Russia, Britain and Austria, Germany and Hungary, Singapore and Malaysia, and USA and Mexico.

As you will see the German Grand Prix is back and is scheduled to be held at Hockenheim. Malaysia moves from its early season slot to the latter half of the year straight after the Singapore Grand Prix.

Finally, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix will make its debut in 2016 on 17 July, to be held on a 6km street circuit in the country’s capital Baku.

The full calendar is shown below.

Formula 1

German Grand Prix dropped from 2015 F1 calendar

2014 German Grand Prix

It’s official, the German Grand Prix has been removed from the 2015 F1 calendar. The move was ratified last Friday by the World Motor Sport Council with this small disclaimer that:

“The German Grand Prix has been withdrawn as the CRH [commercial rights holder] and promoter did not reach agreement.”

A revised 19-race calendar can be viewed after the break.

[Source: FIA | Thanks to Stu for the tip]

Formula 1 News

OFFICIAL: Formula 1 on Foxtel from 2015

2014 Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton’s title defence will start in Australia in mid-March and Australian viewers will be able to see it all live in high definition on Fox Sports.

In news announced today Fox Sports has signed a five-year agreement which will see it broadcast live every practice session, every qualifying session and every race, starting with the Australian Grand Prix on 12 March.

Understandably the top brass at Fox Sports are very pleased with themselves with and have confirmed Australia will take on the Sky Sports feed.

“We have reached an extraordinary affiliate agreement with Sky to deliver through Fox Sports the same incredible Formula 1 coverage which is provided by Sky Sports in the UK,” confirmed Patrick Delany, Fox Sports CEO.

Meanwhile, Delany’s boss, Foxtel CEO, Richard Freudenstein, has gone into overdrive promoting his new product.

“Not only will fans see all the races live but we will add unrivalled behind the scenes experiences and the most expert commentary available,” Freudenstein said. “Fans of motor racing will be thrilled with what they can see if they subscribe to Foxtel’s sports package.”

That means Formula 1 will be included in the regular sports package which is a $25 per month add on over the compulsory $25 basic package. A high definition Foxtel receiver is a further $10 per month, bringing the total outlay to $60 per month.

Viewers unable or unwilling to sign up to pay television can still watch F1 on free-to-air on the Ten Network. Similar to the BBC/Sky deal in the UK, Ten will broadcast 10 of the races live (simulcast with Fox Sports) with delayed highlights packages for the remaining races.

You can see a calendar below listing the races the Ten Network will show live.

[Source: Fox Sports | Thanks to Tom for the tip]

Formula 1

Hockenheim to host 2015 German Grand Prix?

2014 German Grand Prix

Those of you paying attention to the 2015 Formula 1 calendar will have noticed no venue had been announced for the German Grand Prix to be held on 19 July. According to an interview with Bernie Ecclestone published by Reuters the race will be held at Hockenheim.

The 2014 race was held at Hockenheim and under the standard alternating agreement that would mean the Nürburgring would host the race this year. However, as many of you know, the Ring has been beset by financial troubles in recent years and despite the influx of Russian cash late last year its financial security is still shaky.

“It’s going to be at Hockenheim, we’re in the middle of doing something with them,” Ecclestone declared. “It can’t be Nürburgring because there’s nobody there.

“We’ve got a contract in place (with Hockenheim), we just have to amend the years of the contract. It was alternating with Nürburgring so we’ll just take that out. Providing the contract goes through as we expect it to, we’ll be in good shape.”

Earlier this week Carsten Schumacher, Nürburgring GmbH CEO, told “Formula 1 is welcome at the Nürburgring. It provides worldwide television pictures, a positive image and would bring high sales to the region.

“However, the Formula 1 has to remain affordable. We don’t comment ongoing conversations. We will communicate this, if there is a concrete result.”

Meanwhile, Ecclestone indicated in his interview with Reuters that there had been no recent discussion with Nürburgring GmbH.

“We wanted to buy the Nürburgring, we made an offer and somebody topped us with a few dollars and bought it,” Ecclestone said.

“And then they couldn’t pay and it went on sale again. I said I’d be interested and then they found somebody else. So I don’t know what’s happening.”

[Source: Reuters]

Formula 1

FIA makes bad Korea move

2012 Korean Grand Prix

In a move that’s almost as crap as the headline above and that should surprise noone the FIA has quietly removed the Korean Grand Prix from the 2015 F1 calendar.

That leaves us with a 20-race season, with the proviso that the previously published 21-race season should trigger a clause allowing drivers to have access to five engine units in 2015, instead of four as originally planned when the new engine regulations were launched.

In relation to engine allowances the sporting regs state: “This number will be increased to five if the number of Events in the Championship, as originally scheduled, exceeds 20.”

According to the BBC, the FIA came under pressure from Renault and Red Bull to add the extra race to the calendar. By signing off on the 21-race calendar last month it would appear that the teams, or at least Red Bull, will be happy to have more engine units to play with.

However, there is a recently discovered loophole in the regs that will allow all engine manufacturers, except Honda, to stagger engine improvements throughout the season. Honda will have to comply with rules as applied to engine makers in 2014 and therefore must finalise its engine by the end of February.

Pretty daft, huh?

Back to realiuty for a moment; you can see the revised 2015 calendar after the break.

Formula 1

F1 reveals bumper 21-race calendar for 2015

2012 Korean Grand Prix

The Korean Grand Prix is back on the Formula 1 calendar after the FIA published a surprise 21-race program during the week.

This is a bit of an odd one as there is, in theory, a 20-race cap for the F1 calendar. Speculation suggests the weeds around the Yeongam circuit will remain untouched and the race won’t actually go ahead.

It would seem the inclusion of the Korean Grand Prix has more to do with engine allowances in 2015 than it does actual racing. Under the current regulations each driver will have access to just four power units next season. However, there is a clause allowing an increase to five power units if the calendar exceeds 20 races.

In relation to engine allowances the sporting regs state: “This number will be increased to five if the number of Events in the Championship, as originally scheduled, exceeds 20.”

“Orignally scheduled” being the key words there. For example, if the season is underway and Korea remains on the calendar the teams and drivers will have five power units at their disposal for the year. If the Korean race is later cancelled then the extra engine allowance will still stand.

There could be some mileage left in this story yet.

You can see the full calendar after the break.

Formula 1

Formula 1 expecting 20 races in 2015

2014 Australian Grand Prix

Australia will once again kick off the Formula 1 season after a provisional 2015 calendar was sent to teams during the Italian Grand Prix weekend. The maximum number of 20 races have been pencilled in for the F1 calendar, with the Mexican Grand Prix back to rejoin the fun after a 20 year hiatus.

2015 Provisional F1 calendar

  1. March 15 – Australia (Melbourne)
  2. March 29 – Malaysia (Sepang)
  3. April 5 – Bahrain (Sakhir)
  4. April 19 – China (Shanghai)
  5. May 10 – Spain (Barcelona)
  6. May 24 – Monaco (Monte Carlo)
  7. June 7 – Canada (Montreal)
  8. June 21 – Austria (Red Bull Ring)
  9. July 5 – Britain (Silverstone)
  10. July 19 – Germany (Nurburgring)
  11. July 26 – Hungary (Budapest)
  12. August 23 – Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
  13. September 6 – Italy (Monza)
  14. September 20 – Singapore (Singapore)
  15. September 27/October 4 – Japan (Suzuka)
  16. October 11 – Russia (Sochi)
  17. October 25 – Mexico (Mexico City)
  18. November 1 – United States (Austin)
  19. November 15 – Brazil (Interlagos)
  20. November 22/November 29 – Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)

[Source: Planet F1]

Formula 1

Bernie says Azerbaijan in 2016, New Jersey maybe

Red Bull Racing visits New York City

Another new grand prix looks set to join the F1 calendar with Bernie Ecclestone confirming to he has done a deal for a race to be hosted in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, in 2016.

At the behest of Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull there is a 20-race limit on the F1 season and in order to make space for Azerbaijan that limit may need to be increased or an existing grand prix will have to get scrapped.

There’s 19 races on the calendar this year and the return of the Mexico City as a grand prix host will take us back to 20 races in 2015. There was supposed to be 20 races in the current season too, but the second failure of the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey left the door open for Mexico.

And on the New Jersey race Eccelstone has had this to say: “Somebody said to me the other day that New Jersey seem to have got their act together now and that they have got the money and are all in good shape. Whether or not that is true I don’t know. The soonest it could come on the calendar is 2016.”

[Source: Forbes | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

Formula 1

Mexican Grand Prix set to join 2015 F1 calendar

Nigel Mansell wins 1992 Mexican Grand Prix

After an absence of over 20 years the Mexican Grand Prix looks set to return next year. Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed he has signed a deal with race organisers and is subject to final negotiations, which may include finding a place on the ever bulging F1 calendar.

“I’m happy to announce we’ve concluded an agreement to have a race in 2015,” said Ecclestone. “Don’t miss this race!”

Tavo Hellmund, who helped establish the United States Grand Prix, has worked on the deal with Ecclestone and says it was a goal of his to bring F1 back to Mexico.

“Ever since Bernie and I began working on a race at Austin, it’s been a dream of mine to help Formula 1 return to Mexico,” said Hellmund. “This announcement has therefore been years in the making, but we’ve gradually been able to assemble all the right pieces. I’m absolutely delighted.”

The last Mexican Grand Prix was held in 1992 and was won by Nigel Mansell on the way to his only world drivers’ championship.

[Source: | Pic: Williams/LAT]

Formula 1

2014 F1 calendar confirmed

2013 Australian Grand Prix

The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council met overnight to sign off on a whole bunch of agenda items. Chief among them was the 2014 F1 calendar, which has now been locked away at 19 races.

Last time we updated you on the 2014 calendar we were facing the prospect of a 22-race season. We already knew the New York race had been scuppered and now we learn that the Korean and Mexican Grands Prix have also been cast aside for at least one more year.

That means we’ll be getting our first Russian Grand Prix, now on 12 October. The F1 teams will stay in the Americas for back to back races with the Brazilian Grand Prix to be run straight after the Unites States Grand Prix. Abu Dhabi will host the final race of the year on 23 November.

The full calendar is available below and will kick off in Melbourne on 16 March.

[Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

Formula 1

GP of America plans up in smoke once again

Red Bull Racing visits New York City

We suspected this was going to happen, so it’s no surprise to read a report suggesting the Grand Prix of America, aka the New York GP, will be postponed until 2015.

In a telephone interview Bernie Eccelstone said of the race: “We are not satisfied it’s going to happen in time. What we’re aiming for is 2015.”

The future of the race has been in question right from its initial announcement back in 2o11. Everyone seems to think it’s a great idea to race on the streets of New Jersey with the Manhattan skyline forming a million dollar backdrop, but for whatever reason race promoter Leo Hindery Jr can’t get the event across the line.

One positive for the withdrawal of the GP of America, expected to be confirmed by the World Motor Sport Council later this week, is that the jam-packed 22-race 2014 F1 calendar will get some much needed relief.

[Source: WSJ | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

UPDATE 5 December: An official statement from Grand Prix of America organisers has been added below.

Formula 1

Has Bernie sold an F1 slot to Mororcco for $600m?

Bernie Ecclestone with the King of Morocco Mohammed VI

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, Bernie walks into mine.”

They’re probably not the words used by the King of Morocco Mohammed VI, but after meeting with Bernie at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it’s being reported the F1 supremo has negotiated a gig for Mororcco to appear on the already crowded Formula 1 calendar.

Speculation began following a testimony given by Eccelstone earlier this week while answering bribery claims in the British High Court.

The court was presented minutes of a 2004 Formula 1 board meeting where it was alleged Ecclestone requested a press release to be issued confirming his job security.

“I travel the world making business on a handshake,” explained Eccelstone. “And all of a sudden I’m no longer in any position to do anything, so who would want to accept my signature on a contract?”

And here’s where the $600m handshake came up. “I’ve just signed a contract now for 600 million-odd with people over the weekend,” he added. “I can’t do that if people think I’m going to be fired in the morning.”

Bernie charges around $40m per year for a country to host an F1 race and with the fee increasing year on a year a new 10-year deal would come in around that $600m mark.

The link to Morocco is the photo above and Bernie revealing late last year he has previously held talks about taking F1 to the north African country.

“I met the king of Morocco a couple of years ago and talked about F1,” Ecclestone confirmed, before adding, “what reason would it be good for us? The manufacturers are not selling anything there. How many people would come?”

[Source: Autoweek | Pic: AP Photo/Luca Bruno]