Korea’s surprise return means record 21 races in 2015

2015 F1 calendar

Posted on

| Written by

The 2015 F1 calendar will feature a record-breaking 21 races as South Korea makes a surprise return to Formula One next year.

The race, which is scheduled to take place one week before the Spanish Grand Prix, is listed as ‘to be confirmed’ on the schedule issued by the FIA World Motor Sports Council.

The Korea International Circuit held the country’s only previous round of the world championship on four occasions from 2010 to 2013. With its return potentially only five months away, the likelihood of the race being held at any other venue is slim.

Another change to the calendar see the Bahrain Grand Prix moved back to the fourth race of the year, and is now run on consecutive weekends with the Chinese round, rather than the Malaysian race as previously.

As was the case this year, the season will begin in Australia and end in Abu Dhabi.

2015 F1 calendar

1Australian Grand PrixMarch 13 – 15Forum
2Malaysian Grand PrixMarch 27 – 29Forum
3Chinese Grand PrixApril 10 – 12Forum
4Bahrain Grand PrixApril 17 – 19Forum
5Korean Grand PrixMay 1 – 3Forum
6Spanish Grand PrixMay 8 – 10Forum
7Monaco Grand PrixMay 21 – 24Forum
8Canadian Grand PrixJune 5 – 7Forum
9Austrian Grand PrixJune 19 – 21Forum
10British Grand PrixJuly 3 – 5Forum
11German Grand PrixJuly 17 – 19Forum
12Hungarian Grand PrixJuly 24 – 26Forum
13Belgian Grand PrixAugust 21 – 23Forum
14Italian Grand PrixSeptember 4 – 6Forum
15Singapore Grand PrixSeptember 18 – 20Forum
16Japanese Grand PrixSeptember 25 – 27Forum
17Russian Grand PrixOctober 9 – 11Forum
18United States Grand PrixOctober 23 – 25Forum
19Mexican Grand PrixOctober 30 – November 1Forum
20Brazilian Grand PrixNovember 13 – 15Forum
21Abu Dhabi Grand PrixNovember 27 – 29Forum

2015 F1 season

Browse all 2015 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

93 comments on “Korea’s surprise return means record 21 races in 2015”

  1. I’m happy that there’s another race next season, however I can’t say I’m too pleased that it’s the awful Korean Circuit.

    1. I too am happy to have another race, more the merrier. Though I do wonder how the teams feel about this and whether they actually see any benefit in extending the calendar, will they gain extra sponsorship though extended exposure , more money from CVC , of just a added cost . Would a smaller say 16 round championship be more cost appealing and competitive to the emerging and smaller teams.

  2. James (@jamesjames123abc)
    3rd December 2014, 16:29

    I don’t get why the Korean GP is just one week before the Spanish GP. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense logistically…

    1. @jamesjames123abc Indeed. And there’s nothing from the FIA to indicate the current upper limit of 20 races has been raised. That is stipulated in the Sporting Regulations and changing those for next year at this stage would require the unanimous agreement of the teams.

      So perhaps this is some way of applying pressure on another race organiser to sign a new contract. Given Korea’s position on the provisional calendar are there any obvious candidates? Bahrain springs to mind – its deal currently runs to 2016 and there were reports of a new deal in the offing 12 months ago but it seems none was signed.

      It’s not hard to imagine Ecclestone seeking to take full advantage of the Bahrain government’s desperation to cling to the race following all their recent problems, putting up the price and turning the screw with a stunt like this.

      1. Well I think it is all due to Nico Hulkenberg and possibly Fernando Alonso to WEC!
        At least Bernie is known to be that kind of person

        1. Wouldn’t surprise me!

      2. @keithcollantine Good point Keith, Bernie can then say to Bahrain, “Oh, well, I’ll just do China-Korea back-to-back instead then”, even if it is unrealistic to do so (i.e. there’s no more money for a Korean GP).

        Bahrain probably want some leeway on the fee increases, after paying for a race that didn’t even take place in the boycott year.

      3. @keithcollantine, another devious ploy might be to have the teams vote it down so Bernie can say they turned down the opportunity to EARN more money so they can’t expect to be given more.

      4. The links to “forum” after the event details in the list are a little off. A couple of them are repeated and some direct to another event’s thread.

    2. Would have made more sense to at least swap it with the Bahrain GP.

    3. I really looks like a last minute call.

      Korea/Japan back-to-back would be a better option.

  3. now this is a surprise! thought it would be gone for good. but why not put it after the chinese grand prix instead of going through the troubles of having to go from chine to bahrain, then back to korea? must be because the date for bahrain was already set and it’s only one week after china.

    not really sure wether to be happy with this or not. don’t like the circuit layout, but the race in 2013 was one of , if not the best of the season.

  4. Finishing with Abu Dhabi again, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? Brazil is such a great place to finish, history has told us this.

    1. Money!

    2. I’m guessing it involves a sheik and a very large cheque.

      1. Sure Brazil was early in the season (along with Argentina) & Australia was right at the end until quite recentl … oh wait, that was twenty years ago now…. :)

        1. As you say, recently.

    3. I know I will be in the minority if I say this, but I actually don’t mind the fact that the finale is in Abu Dhabi. Sure the track layout is far from ideal, but I will never forget the 2012 race. I’m also quite a fan of the night races, it just adds a little bit of flair.

      I will add that despite all that, this year’s gp was lame.

      1. 2012 was pretty lame, too, except for Vettel, who had to start from the back of the grid after his disqualification.
        Imo, Yas Marina shouldn’t even be in F1.

    4. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      4th December 2014, 15:35

      The only thing I like about finishing in Abu Dhabi, is that its poetic having the sun setting on the race as the sun sets on the season

  5. What a waste to have the Can GP all alone in the middle of the European season. Either get Mex/US there together with Can, or move Can to the back end of the season.

    1. have tried in past and it gets too cold in winter for Montreal, I wonder how this works out for Sky/BBC as for the 3rd year running a odd number of races

      1. It’s too cold in Montreal for a race that far back. Temperatures between -5 C & probably max 10 deg C.

        1. Doubly, it’s very hot if the mexican or US GP was moved to around the Canadian GP date.

          1. @beejis60 For COTA, yes, but not for Mexico City.

  6. Roughly three too many.

    1. Too many? It’s the more the better for me :) I do feel though that they could organize the order better.

  7. James Scantlebury
    3rd December 2014, 16:59

    Korean GP is scheduled on the same weekend as the Spa WEC race. You know, the race that Nico Hulkenberg was planning to do with Porsche in preparation for Le Mans? #facepalm
    Is Bernie getting worried about the rise of popularity of WEC and Le Mans, and is flexing his political power?

    1. Ridiculous, i really hope this isn’t the reason for the return of the Korean GP (im sure its too short notice).
      But seriously what it wrong with F1, do they really need this many races 18 would be enough.

    2. I know which one I’ll be watching. And faced with the choice of a Sky Pad in Mokpo or a 1000bhp Toyota around Spa, I wonder which event Anthony Davidson will choose?

  8. Out of interest – Is Bahrain gonna be a night race this year or was that a one off?

    1. Keisoglou Alexandros (@)
      3rd December 2014, 17:12

      Not sure at all, but i think the night race was to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of F1 GPs in Bahrain. Keith or anyone else could say for sure, though.

    2. @ddonovan1993 @keisalex I don’t think they’ve decided yet, but from an investment viewpoint, I can’t see them putting all the money into a lighting system of that standard only to use it once for F1.

      I’d could be interesting to see another sunset race like Abu Dhabi!

    3. I heard rumours that they wanted to keep it as a night race but no one’s confirmed it yet. I do like the idea of making it a twilight race.

    4. It should be a night race as they invested a lot in setting up the lighting systems and I think it also got a sign of approval from fans in general.

      Frankly, I quiet liked it. It gave a different feel as well as the fact that we didn’t had to see the boring sand dunes around the track.

      Rather then a night race, I’d prefer a twilight race. Anyway, I hope it stays.

      1. Wasn’t there also talk of Australia becoming a night race? Has that faded away?

        1. @skylab I don’t think we will switch to a night race for a while.

    5. Yes, it will remain a night race.

      1. +1 The organisers said it was a success.

  9. Please, get rid of Abu Dhabi! The most awful place to end a season!
    And bring back India instead of Korea!

    1. I wish the same , an Indian GP, but our tax issues are pushing out F1. :(

    2. Still hoping for Istanbul Park to make a comeback one day… such a great track wasted.

      1. I agree. Istanbul Park was indeed a great race track. I was just watching the 2005 FIA Official Season Review and no drivers had anything bad to say about it. In fact they were super impressed with the track.

        It has great elevation changes and some tricky corners. Indeed a great circuit in the wrong country!

      2. It’s still one of my favourite tracks. I love the varied corners, the triple-apex turn, the elevation changes…

        It’s the track that Abu Dhabi should have been.

      3. And a great track to drive on the F1 games.

    3. Abu Dhabi is THE anti climax finale. No atmosphere, no variable weather & of course a horrible circuit layout.

    4. The problem with South Korea is the fans, the track is quite OK IMO.

      1. The problem with Korea is the location of the track, not the fans. It’s In BFE-literally the farthest point from Seoul that you can build a track. I live here.

        1. I know! Worst location imaginable. And Mokpo just can’t handle the volume. I stayed in Mokpo the first year (on a friend’s motel room floor) and Gwangju in 2012 and didn’t bother with 2013 (didn’t fancy the journey, even from Daegu). Soulless, no interest, hard to get to. Shame.

  10. Yes, I know this will be an unpopular perspective, but I actually welcome the return of the Korean Grand Prix, or rather the return of the Korean layout. Yes, it is difficult to imagine a worse location for a Grand Prix than the Mokpo wilderness miles from any urban center, but whilst it is not Sepang or COTA, Tilke’s offerings in this scenario look like Suzuka when compared to Sochi or Yas Marina. Once the excessively long straights are cleared the sinuous layout has always nicely framed the immense grip and downforce of F1 cars, and with a) the track’s overtaking opportunities and b) an absence of a dominant Sebastian Vettel we may have an engaging Korean Grand Prix to look forward to in 2015.

    On another note, have I missed something? Is the Nurburgring not hosting the German Grand Prix in 2015, @keithcollantine?

    1. @countrygent From a driving perspective, I agree – the track also had the setup compromise from the long straights, helping overtaking.

      However, I imagine that any Korean GP from now on would be a Seoul street race, rather than another trip to Mokpo.

      1. @fastiesty The fourth place the tea-tray winged Sauber of Hulkenberg managed in 2013 is certainly evidence of your first point.

        We will be going to Mokpo in 2015, but yes, a Seoul street race might be on the cards come 2016. Another street layout wishing it was Monaco, à la Beijing’s woeful Formula E circuit, to look forward to…

        1. @countrygent If they have the money, then yes, true! Back to the ‘love hotels’..!

          PS. In my mind, the first ePrix was in Europe.. I have no recollection of anything there that made me think it was in Beijing!

    2. I agree with the idea that it’s a good circuit, from a driver’s perspective, esp qualifying.

  11. More F1 anyday!

    But South Korea… I’d be screaming for joy for an Imola or Estoril… but not KIC!

  12. The Blade Runner (@)
    3rd December 2014, 17:20

    My sentiments are similar to most. A shame it’s South Korea but, hey, another weekend of F1!

  13. Lets reduce costs.

    By adding another GP.

  14. Wow! Wow wow wow! This was unexpected. Great news though! Even though the circuit is not popular, it is better to have it than to not.

    Plus teams will get 5 power units now, not 4.

    1. They already get 5. 6 now maybe.

      1. They got 5 in 2014, but the 2015 rules say that they will only get 4, unless there is more than 20 races, in which case they get 5.

        1. Which may be the real reason it’s been added.

        2. I think you have hit the nail on the head with this, the placement of S.Korea in the calendar is very strange too, I suspect as some Engine Manufacturers are going to have to do a lot of changes, reliability will be suspect, this may just be a token gesture to work around the rules for next year, and wipe S.Korea race off the calendar, which then would not change the power units quota from 5 to 4.

  15. Keith, should the German Grand Prix not be at the Nurburgring next year?

    1. The Formula1.com article doesn’t mention the specific circuits, only the countries GPs are to be held so unless there’s another source that’s been used here, I don’t see any reason why the German GP wouldn’t be at Nürburgring like it’s supposed to according to the event-sharing agreement between Hockeinheimring and Nürburgring.

      1. @tmekt It was written in as Hockenheim at the time I posted that.

        1. @strontium – Yeah I was agreeing with you. Seems Keith changed it now though.

      2. @tmekt @strontium Yes Keith seems to have edited it.

        BTW I heard somewhere the Nürburgring will host every German GP till 2020. Can anyone confirm?

  16. There are too many GP’s on the calendar. Plus it is absolutely crazy having Korea and Spain back to back. Good luck with the logistics on that front.

  17. Quite happy to see Korea return, Its a circuit I always really enjoyed watching the cars go round & I loved playing it on the F1 video games.

    Was a circuit most of the drivers said they enjoyed driving on as well.

  18. WHAT!!?! NO SPA!? dear me, what the HELL is going on? One of the most iconic tracks of all time, giving way to far eastern rubbish? Sigh :(

    1. oh, missed that! phew :)

    2. @bsnaylor – Between Hungaroring and Monza.

  19. I REALLY hope this doesn’t happen and Nico can do Spa 6 hours and Le Mans…

  20. If there was a circuit closer to Seoul, then the race would be a success. But it’s not, and the track isn’t all that good. So, well…

  21. We’ll see if this actually happens, I’m not fully convinced.

    But of tracks to return to, this is one you’d probably have pretty low on your list. I’m probably in a small group who’d like to see India return. Maybe Imola or Turkey one day – I can only dream!

  22. 21 races yeah! Now bring Turkey and India back and add Longbeach and New York to the list (or more likely: Qatar and Azerbaïdjan) and we will have 25 races a year!

    I always want more, but this could become quite hard on the team’s staff. We’ll see what happens.

  23. The fact that Korea is placed a week before Spain suggests to me that it’s probably not going to happen and it’s just to fulfill some sort of obligation, like with the provisional calendar for 2014 which had New Jersey in between Monaco and Canada (3 races on 3 consecutive weekends).

  24. Or: Bernie gets richer as Korea makes surprise payment while the importance of each race continues to be devalued.

  25. Wait.. did Bernie Ecclestone just add another race to the calendar JUST to stop Hulkenberg from doing the Spa 6 Hours race?

  26. Considering the amount of news coming out of the FIA today and there being no mention of the rules allowing more than 20 races, I don’t buy it for a second. There has been no Bernie fanfare and frankly, I highly doubt the teams will be too happy about this logistically.

    This kinda feels like the addition of Zuhai for 1999 (with the track far from finished) and several other times where there have been races at times or places where it didn’t make sense and the calendar was changed or the odd one out was dropped.

    Then again, Japan-Russia back to back happened just this year..

  27. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    4th December 2014, 0:00

    Even though the atmosphere of the Korean GP is totally dead, I actually really like the track. Definitely one of Tilkes better ones.

    1. I agree. The second half of the track is interesting.
      Same for India: I like the fast corners of 2nd half of the track. I wish they could drop Bahrain and/or Abu Dhabi.

  28. In 2016 there will be 23 Races with Baku and India while in 2017 there will be 24 races with Qatar joining. But the question mark remains as to whether Spa and Malaysia will stay after next year

  29. Are we going to see tanks on the track nxt year, this time because the North Korean military invades during the race?

  30. what a silly thing! F1 is just all about money….
    we’ll see 32 races in 2032 ….
    18 races is ideal.

  31. Looks like the Korean GP was as a surprise to them as well! Excellent job, Bernie!


  32. I am not sure how having 21 races is going to help keep costs down? But judging by its date, I cannot see Korea happening. If they are going to make 21 races work would it not be better to swap Korea and Russia? Russia to Spain is not such a trek and then Korea would be next to Suzaka.

    I think ideally they should stick to 20 races max with at least 7 in Europe. They should also revise the whole calendar to remove any three week gaps if at all possible (other than the Summer break). I suppose at least the Korea date does that.

    1. Including perhaps an earlier finish as well, say by early November at the latest.

      1. Personally I love how late into the year it goes. Makes it last much longer and keeps tensions high.

  33. 21 races is just too many for me, quantity over quality.

    I’ve never liked Abu dhabi, too much money and not enough design contraints, leading to a very poorly thought out design. Sochi is awful, soul less and a total none event. Korea’s back half was alright, the start of it always felt a bit artificial though, wrong location.

    I’d get rid of Catalunya given the chance, there has not been a decent grand prix there in 25 attempts. The whole thing needs a total redesign.

    Mexico should be alright although no Peraltada, boo.

    I always used to bitch about bahrain, the last two years its been one of the best GP’s!

    Tracks to bring back, Istanbul was great, visited it but no fans, so won’t happen. Now they’ve took the stupid last chicane out, how about Imola? That place rocked.

  34. If Korea goes ahead I would order the calendar like this:

    Australia – March 15
    Malaysia – March 22
    Korea – April 05
    China – April 12
    Bahrain – April 26
    Spain – May 10
    Monaco – May 24
    Canada – June 07
    Austria – June 21
    Britain – July 05
    Germany – July 19
    Hungary – July 26
    Belgium – August 23
    Italy – September 06
    Singapore – September 20
    Japan – September 27
    Russia – October 11
    USA – October 25
    Mexico – November 01
    Brazil – November 15
    Abu Dhabi – November 29

    In reality, I don’t think Korea will go ahead and Brazil should round off the calendar. Hopefully, we’ll have Brazil as the 2016 season finale.

Comments are closed.