F1 teams expect 2014 calendar to be trimmed – NJ and Mexico dropped (3rd Update)

UPDATE #3 Not far from the Lincoln Tunnel with the spectacular Manhattan skyline and Hudson River filling the background, the ‘Grand Prix of America’ on the shores of New Jersey along its town’s streets, made the Formula One (F1) calendar for 2014. However, according to sources, that pesky asterisk was there for a reason and low-and-behold, the on-again off-again event won’t make the official F1 schedule after all. As they say on either side of the Hudson: ‘Fugetaboutit’.

There was talk less than a month ago that this event would take place on June 1st of 2014, although it was a ‘provisional’ date. Still, having paid F1 a registration fee to make sure they had a date on next year’s calendar appeared to put a positive spin on whether this race would happen or not. Construction was taking place (Port Imperial) and even a week ago, the announcers on NBC Sports speculated that indeed next year’s Grand Prix of America would proceed as planned.

Nonetheless, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said this past weekend that he had doubts about the two new races scheduled for North America in New Jersey and Mexico. Said Ecclestone,

“It’s not definite if it will or it won’t but I doubt if it does."

When in doubt follow the money AR1.com says

Money is always the criteria for all things F1 and that appears to be the stumbling block. Plus, this isn’t the first time the New Jersey race has been postponed or put off. Originally, the Port Imperial event was to happen this past June, but it became obvious it would not take place when financing wasn’t in place. It should be noted the organizers have been able to put the whole program together without public funds (source: Hudson Reporter).

The race was to take place along the streets of the Weehawken and West New York townships on the Hudson waterfront. The race would offer impressive sweeping skyline sights with a plan that called for a 3.2 mile circuit around Port Imperial along the Hudson River Walkway – all with easy access to public transportation. It was expected that the event would draw over 100,000 fans.

Other races dropped from the 2013 schedule include the race in India and also the event in South Korea. Austria is to be added in 2014, as was New Jersey and Mexico. Mexico’s problems relate to a race circuit that needs updated.

Promoters for the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey are still working on acquiring the necessary funding. Also, safety requirements have slowed the progress of moving ahead with the event. Race teams have been hesitant about the date because of the extreme logistics of having two races back-to-back in North America – the Grand Prix of Canada would be the following week.

If and when the New Jersey organizers can obtain the required financing, the race will go ahead, probably for the 2015 F1 season. Until then, folks in the New York area can, as they say, ‘Fugetaboutit’. BeyondTheflag

11/03/13 (GMM) F1's bustling 2014 calendar looks set to shed at least a couple of races.

The German-language Speed Week reports that the new grands prix scheduled for New Jersey and Mexico will in fact not take place next season.

The 2014 schedule should then shrink from an unprecedented 22 to a still-hectic 20 races.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone was quoted as saying the construction of a new pit building in Mexico is "virtually impossible" for a November 2014 race date.

And New Jersey, he added, is "not going to happen because they haven't got their finances in place."

Ecclestone is quoted by SID news agency in Abu Dhabi: "I only put it (New Jersey) on the calendar because they assured me again and again that everything will work out."

11/03/13 The Mexican and New Jersey races that currently figure on the 2014 Formula One racing schedule will not make the cut on the final version when it emerges from the FIA World Motor Sport Council in December.

Sources at the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have confirmed that Mexico is definitely off. While F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone would not officially confirm to Autoweek today in that the race has been cancelled, he made it clear that the challenges of building a new pit complex in time for next November had proved insurmountable.

Hermann Tilke has been charged with creating the new pit and paddock area, as well as making some relatively minor changes to the layout of the track in Mexico.

With Mexico gone there is now a gap of two free weekends between races at Austin and the season closer in Brazil, which could lead to some reshuffling.

The loss of New Jersey is no great surprise, given that the race was already dropped from this season's calendar and had been given a logistically challenging 2014 date sandwiched between Monaco and Canada. Promoter Leo Hindery has yet to source sufficient financial backing.

“New Jersey won't happen because they still haven't got the finance together for that," said Ecclestone. “I put it on the calendar because they keep telling me it's all going to happen."

2014 Formula One Schedule, as released in September

Mar 16: Australia
Mar 30: Malaysia
Apr 6: Bahrain
Apr 20: China
Apr 27: Korea (provisional)
May 11: Spain
May 25: Monaco
Jun 1: New Jersey (provisional) – Now considered to be off the schedule
Jun 8: Canada
Jun 22: Austria
Jul 6: Britain
Jul 20: Germany
Jul 27: Hungary
Aug 24: Belgium
Sep 7: Italy
Sep 21: Singapore
Oct 5: Russia
Oct 12: Japan
Oct 26: Abu Dhabi
Nov 9: USA (Austin)
Nov 16: Mexico (provisional) – Now considered to be off the schedule.
Nov 30: Brazil
Note: Will be made official by the FIA in December. AutoWeek

10/04/13 (GMM) F1 teams on Friday were admitting concerns with next year's unprecedentedly-long 22-race calendar.

Three races on the calendar are only provisional, and existing agreements between the teams and Bernie Ecclestone have set a cap of 20 races.

Indeed, F1 chief executive Ecclestone has said he thinks the calendar will be trimmed, which will please Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

"I think we all recognize that 22 races is beyond the limit," he said in Korea.

In fact, with a winter test in Bahrain, and the return of in-season testing, the 2014 schedule – featuring an unique Monaco-New Jersey-Canada 'triple header' – was described as "impossible" by Ferrari team manager Massimo Rivola.

"Let's see the real calendar and then we'll figure it out," he said.

Horner agrees that 20 races is "saturation point" for F1's increasingly hard-working traveling circus.

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh identified New Jersey as one race that could fall by the wayside, because "there's not much going on" at the proposed street circuit site.

The Korean race promoter has put the chance of a 2014 race at "50-50", while Mexico is racing against time to substantially upgrade its aging track, last used for a grand prix in 1992.

"We'll wait until the calendar has been ratified before we put any resource into understanding exactly how we will deal with it," said Andy Stevenson, Force India's team manager.

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