The FIA World Motor Sport Council has made a further amendment to the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship calendar it finalised back in mid-September, extending it to 21 races with the return of the Korean Grand Prix.
Much of the Formula 1 media worldwide has been quick to trumpet the news as gospel, but the truth of the matter remains that majority of teams’ agreements with the sport’s commercial rights holder have capped each season at twenty races.
The addition of Korea has to be some sort of carrot for the country’s government, which poured over $70 million into the circuit’s construction and had signed up for a seven-year contract (worth another $264 million) to stage the Grand Prix from 2010-2016. The deal lasted just three years, with the remote circuit despised by the media, little loved by the drivers and shunned by a public with little motorsport knowledge.
The latest stories suggest that the Korean government is going to give Formula 1 another crack and is seeking approval to stage a street circuit race in its capital, Seoul – potentially a far more lucrative option.
It therefore makes absolutely no sense to return to Yeongyam, and that’s before you take into consideration the high travel costs associated with how this year’s calendar has been structured. Slated provisionally for a May 3 date, it comes two weeks into the traditional three-week break between the end of the first flyaway races and the start of the European season.
How the entire grid will be able to freight its equipment from what is little more than a remote backwater to the suburbs of Barcelona in just four days remains to be seen.
As far as the rest of the calendar is concerned, the originally-slated dates and venues remain in place.
Expect a further update, and don’t expect to see Korea remain.
2015 Formula 1 Championship Calendar:
|15 March||Australian Grand Prix||Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne|
|29 March||Malaysian Grand Prix||Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur|
|12 April||Chinese Grand Prix||Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai|
|19 April||Bahrain Grand Prix||Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir|
|03 May||Korean Grand Prix||Korean International Circuit, Yeongyam*|
|10 May||Spanish Grand Prix||Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona|
|24 May||Monaco Grand Prix||Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo|
|07 June||Canadian Grand Prix||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal|
|21 June||Austrian Grand Prix||Red Bull Ring, Spielberg|
|05 July||British Grand Prix||Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone|
|19 July||German Grand Prix||Nürburgring, Nürburg*|
|26 July||Hungarian Grand Prix||Hungaroring, Budapest|
|23 August||Belgian Grand Prix||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot|
|06 September||Italian Grand Prix||Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Milan|
|20 September||Singapore Grand Prix||Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore|
|27 September||Japanese Grand Prix||Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka|
|11 October||Russian Grand Prix||Sochi Autodrom, Sochi|
|25 October||United States Grand Prix||Circuit of the Americas, Austin|
|01 November||Mexican Grand Prix||Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City^|
|15 November||Brazilian Grand Prix||Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo|
|29 November||Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi|
* Venue to be confirmed
^ Subject to official homologation by the FIA
Image via XPB Images