2013 calendar may not be set before season starts

2013 F1 calendar

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Bernie Ecclestone has admitted the 2013 F1 calendar may not be finalised before the first race of the season.

Doubt remains over which of Germany’s circuits will hold its round of the championship on July 7th and whether a replacement race will be found for the postponed Jersey Grand Prix.

Ecclestone told ESPN: “We have got a German Grand Prix but we don’t know where it is going to be.

“We have got the race pencilled in. It’s on the calendar. We can decide it once the season has started.”

The Nurburgring was supposed to hold the German Grand Prix this year, which it shares with Hockenheim. However the circuit’s financial problems means it may not be able to afford the race.

In recent years the F1 schedule has usually been set before the new year begins. A delayed confirmation of the venue for the German race could affect ticket sales. Tickets for some later rounds on the calendar are already on sale.

With Valencia dropping off the calendar this year and the inaugural Jersey Grand Prix being postponed to 2014, Ecclestone faced the prospect of seeing the calendar fall short of the 20 rounds held last year.

He hoped to schedule a replacement race in France. Austria and Turkey were also mooted as possible venues, but according to Ecclestone this year’s calendar is now unlikely to feature more than 19 races.

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Keith Collantine
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48 comments on “2013 calendar may not be set before season starts”

  1. Sorry to be pedantic but it should read “New Jersey Grand Prix” since it’s not going to be held in the Channel Islands :)

    1. @the_pope It should, much as the ‘Korean Grand Prix’ should be called the ‘South Korean Grand Prix’. But the FIA are not sticklers for geography.

      1. Well, at least South Korea is officially called ‘Republic of Korea’. New Jersey is just that. ;-)

      2. Wow, the FIA is actually calling it that?? It’s simply not the name of the state! If there were one in Manhattan or Staten Island, would they call it the “York Grand Prix” (or maybe the “York City Grand Prix”)? o.O

    2. In fact, that race was to be called the ‘American Grand Prix’, as opposed to Austin’s ‘United States Grand Prix’. I wonder why it ended up as the ‘Jersey Grand Prix’ on the FIA’s calendar in the first place. But, never mind, since it’s not going to take place in 2013 anyway.

      On a different note, I remember the 1994 and 1997 seasons’ calendars changing some time into the season. On both occasions the Argentine Grand Prix didn’t make the cut at the 11th hour.

      1. It would be interesting to have an ‘American Grand Prix’ and an ‘Asian Grand Prix’ like we have the ‘European Grand Prix’. Brasil and US both could afford to have a second GP if the trend of having the continental GP in a country that hosts a national GP was to be followed, though I guess the interest in F1 in asian countries is probably not enough to have two events in the same country.

        1. … unless that country is too big for people to travel to one of those tracks – China for instance, India perhaps. So you could have the Chinese GP at Shanghai and the Asian GP in Hong Kong or Beijing (or vice versa).

          1. I like the idea of the possibility of an American Grand Prix and Asian Grand Prix if countries within those continents hold 2 races as proposed.

            A race in Hong Kong could be really cool.

          2. Or how about the Asian GP being a Tokyo street/night race?

      2. We used to have a race in every state in Australia but that was back in them thar good ol days.

    3. @andae23

      Or how about the Asian GP being a Tokyo street/night race?

      That would be really cool but I can just imagine the traffic disruption! I’ve always wanted to see a Russian GP (which we are getting in 2014) but I’d go one step further and make it an ice race: studded Pirelli tyres in a mock-up of the Nordschliefe on ice, how awesome would that be?! (There may be a problem though in that Kimi Räikkönen and Valterri Bottas, being Finns, would win by miles).

      1. @vettel1
        Not sure whether an ice race would be realistic, but I’ll give you this: it is one of the coolest ideas in Formula 1 history ;) Awesome

        1. @andae23 – we can dream! ;)

          1. …all the talk of a lack of downforce in 2014 would pale in comparison to an ice race! I think drifting F1 cars wouldn’t be an uncommon site, although I’ve just imagined Grosjean on ice! :O

          2. *downforce grip

  2. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
    15th January 2013, 10:50

    Doubt remains over which of Germany’s circuits will hold its round of the championship on July 7th

    In all likelihood, it will be a stretch to organize such a complex event as a Formula One Grand Prix (with logistics, preparation of infrastructure, ticketing, marketing and other administrative affairs to be sorted out) given such short notice of a mere seven months. The decision has to be made soon.

    1. I hope the Nurburgring gets the race: I find it a much better circuit than the Hockenheimring and surely, if the host fee is not ridiculously high and ticket sales are good, it can only help the economic situation? Doing nothing is guaranteed to fail so I think they’d be better to host the race in the hope that they make a profit, as I’m sure F1 fans and the German public will help to retain one of the legendary names in F1’s place on the calendar.

  3. why can’t they get back Valencia as last year it produced one of the best dry race in F1 history.

    1. @wasif1 In five years it produced one good race. So what are the odds of Valencia delivering again in 2013?

        1. Yeah, I knew that was coming

        2. 2/10 – would not race

      1. I would put money on it being a good race again this year if it was on the calendar. Vettel dominance seems to be over.

        1. Oh, but it would’ve been an easy victory for Vettel if his alternator this didn’t die in Valencia. Along with Japan and India, the only race that looked like he and his car were back to his 2011 best.

        2. Vettel dominance seems to be over.

          Except that Vettel was leading at points during the European GP by over 20 seconds: indeed he pitted before Grosjean yet came back out still in the lead. Personally, judging from the fact Red Bull were very competitive towards the end of last year, I think Vettel will continue to “dominate” on the “Red Bull Circuits”, like Valencia and Suzuka, making for yet more boring races no doubt (at least at the front anyway)!

    2. Valencia is a terrible circuit and the only reason it produced a good race was due to the tyres (and Vettel’s alternator but that’s a different issue). I am pleased it has left the calendar and persoanlly I would love to see Bahrain go with it but sadly as long as there’s money to be made F1 won’t leave.

      1. @vettel1 I can’t believe I forgot about Vettel’s alternator. I take back what I said

        1. @kcampos12 – yea I think Valencia 2012 was a bit of an anomaly! ;)

  4. Bernie’s up to his old tricks again. He’s trying desperately to remove another European race. He tried to do it in 2011 with the British Grand Prix, moving the venue to Donington, knowing that the latter wouldn’t be ready in time, so he would automatically remove it from Donington to Silverstone very late, too late for the latter to make the proper arrangements to host a grand prix. It was down to the dogged determination and desperation of the guys at Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire to try and pt the Silverstone race back on, which they did successfully. And now Bernie’s trying to remove the German Grand Prix altogether, by refusing to give the nod to Nuerburgring, but keeping the actual decision late enough and finally announcing the race at Hockenheim just weeks before the race, and when the latter will be unready, it will Auf Wiedersehn(German for goodbye) to the German Grand Prix.

    1. Is this the conspiracy line?

    2. You actually expect the Germans not to have prepared for that eventuality? It could be that he’s trying to pursuade a manufacturer to get involved and pump some money in, I dont seriously believe Bernie wants to lose the German round.

    3. I doubt for as long as F1 exists that Britain and Germany won’t have Grand Prix’s. Britain can make a great claim to being “the home of F1” – 8 of the now 11 teams are based there and there are 4 drivers who bear the Union Jack – and Germany is too one of the great F1 nations, along with Italy. As much as Bernie is being lured to the East by the strange ribbons of tarmac sprouting up mysteriously since the wild and dangerous Tilke has been released into the wilderness and the oil-rich inhabitants I can’t see him alienating the three great motorsport nations, especially considering one of these is his home country!

      1. @vettel1 Home country? Have ypo noticed how small his eyes have gotten and how his hair is always cut in a Chinese fringe? Home country, eh? Maybe’s he’s thinking of buyiing a new house for himself in China and overseeing the Asian f1 race.

        1. Quite possibly but he’s he’s always had that look! He’d lose a massive audience if he alienated Britain & Germany though so I don’t see it happening anytime soon…

  5. So much for Bernie’s “Legacy” concept around F1 races then….

    All he appears to have achieved is a drip-feed removal of races from the F1 calendar and a bankrupting of circuits and/or world governments. All the while creaming off the profits for CVC. How long before we are down to a dozen races and 6 teams…??

    1. @voisey
      Isn’t 19 the most rounds there have ever been in an F1 season? So many the teams are complaining about the lack of down-time.

      1. There were 20 in 2012…

        1. @optimaximal
          Knew I should have checked that one :P

      2. @george My point (which admittedly I didn’t make too clearly) was that all that seems to happen is a merry-go-round of some new circuit replacing one that’s used up all its government or private funding to hold races. Bernie doesn’t care about the legacy of races anywhere, or the stability of the countries that hold the races or the presence of the sport in a particular region. All he cares about is the next sucker who’s willing to fork out tens of millions of dollars for the illusion of being able to make F1 a commercial success in their particular corner of the world.

  6. Well this is embarrassing…

  7. Just stay with the classic circuits and visit them 2x a year

    1. Because F1 is totally going to sustain itself when tracks can’t pay up

      1. Well if we took CVC out of the picture the tracks could host 2 races for the current price of one.

  8. This is crazy. I’m planning on going to the German Grand Prix this year but there is no way I can book flights until the venue is confirmed and if they leave it that late then the price of the flights will be a lot higher!!!!

    Maybe you have forgot already but we had 20 races last season which is the record.

    I agree that Bahrain needs to go the same way as Valencia. Yes they both provided a great race recently but those were the only occasions they provided a good race. The others have been lame.
    It’s a shame that no one in Turkey is interested in F1 as the track is great. Anyway we will have New Jersey GP next year and Russia in 2014 so which track will get dropped in 2014 because they have said a maximum of 20 races plus it looks like Thailand is going to land a race in the next few years . . .

    1. Sadly, it’s not looking likely that F1 is going to boycott Bahrain any time soon, so that will probably stay. Korea hasn’t made a profit in all three years of the Grand Prix being there, so perhaps it may be dropped but other than that it’s looking increasingly likely that F1 will slowly lose more and more Eurpoean races (which is a shame given it is in the European rounds that there is the largest capacity / most enthusiastic crowds).

  9. Didn’t Bernie want to go back to Paul Ricard at some point ??

  10. An unfortunate situation for the German fans and travellers. Of course the irony is that the longer this goes on, the worse the financia situation gets for them!

  11. bernie back gp austria and france paul ricard, we dont need another asian circiuts…

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