The new F1 calendar has now appeared, though. I always find it amazing that it takes F1 so long to put together a final calendar when one looks at what some other sports do, and it is good to see that it is only 19 races again. The idea of 20 or more sends shivers down the spine.
The events that had been listed in New Jersey, Korea and Mexico are not happening in 2014, while the unloved Indian GP is replaced by Russia, although the subcontinent hopes to get back on the calendar in 2015. Red Bull-funded Austria comes in to replace Korea. It is not a great calendar at a time when F1 is looking for ways to save money. Usually the dates are construed in such a way as to have two far-flung races linked (China and Japan, for example) but next year that idea seems to have been dropped and we have no fewer than five stand-alone, fly-aways.
It is entirely crazy to go to Australia and back in a week, but that is what much of the F1 circus will do in 2014. The option is to stay out and then go to Malaysia a fortnight later, but that has Bahrain seven days later and so those who stay out will be on the road for a month. Fun, if you are young, free and single, but not so much fun if you have a family.
It is a similar story with the races in Singapore, China, Canada and Abu Dhabi (although the last named is not even considered a long-haul by F1 folk). What logic is there in having these races on their own? Is the Formula One group wanting people to spend more money? Or, more likely, is it creating a calendar that teams will complain about so that next year, it can add additional events and push the number above 20? Probably the latter…
The full F1 calendar for 2014 is as follows:
March 16, Australia; March 30, Malaysia; April 6, Bahrain; April 20, China; May 11, Spain; May 25, Monaco; June 8, Canada; June 22, Austria; July 6, Britain; July 20, Germany; July 27, Hungary; August 24, Belgium; September 7, Italy; September 21, Singapore; October 5, Japan; October 12 Russia; November 2, United States (Austin); November 9, Brazil; November 23, Abu Dhabi.