Jul.31 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Once feared it could swell to an unprecedented 22 grands prix, the size of next year’s F1 calendar now appears unclear.
New Jersey is officially set to host its first race next year, but Niki Lauda thinks Bernie Ecclestone has already written off his dream of a race amid the Manhattan skyline.
India has also fallen by the wayside for 2014, and reports indicate Korea could go too, as Austria and Russia prepare to come in.
Actually, there have long been questions about the inaugural Russian grand prix, taking place on a circuit comprising the same infrastructure for Sochi’s winter olympics next year.
Rumours of conflict within the organising bodies have been swirling for weeks and months, and it seems finally to have thrown a spanner in the works.
The official application to host next year’s race must be lodged with the FIA by the corresponding motor racing federation — in this case the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF).
But the conflict with the Russian race organiser Omega means the RAF is refusing to lodge the application to the FIA, despite a July 31 deadline.
A spokeswoman for the FIA would not comment specifically on the reported Russian problem, telling Ria Novosti news agency: “The calendar is approved at the end of September.”
There are no such problems in Hungary, whose contract to host an annual race at the Hungaroring has been extended through 2021.