Formula One’s final 2014 schedule has now been confirmed by the FIA’s World Motorsport Council and will feature 19 races, dropping the Grand Prix of America and races in Mexico and Korea from the most recent provisional calendar that was released in September.
Officials from the GP of America, which was to take place June 1, 2014 in Weehawken, New Jersey, visited the Circuit of the Americas last month for meetings during the United States Grand Prix weekend.
But now, the proposed second Grand Prix here in the States has been taken off the calendar for a second time and will have to wait until at least 2015.
Additionally, the Korean Grand Prix has lost its place following a four-year run at Yeongam, South Korea, and Mexico must also wait one more year for another chance to get back on the F1 calendar; F1 has not visited our neighbors to the south since 1992.
Multiple changes have taken place on the final schedule as a result of all of this. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is now slated to be the season finale after having been listed for Oct. 26, 2014 on the provisional calendar, while the United States Grand Prix has moved up from Nov. 9 (provisional) to Nov. 2, 2014; the Brazilian Grand Prix now takes over the USGP’s previous spot on Nov. 9.
2014 FIA Formula One World Championship Final Schedule
March 16 – Australian Grand Prix
March 30 – Malaysian Grand Prix
April 6 – Bahrain Grand Prix
April 20 – Chinese Grand Prix
May 11 – Spanish Grand Prix
May 25 – Monaco Grand Prix
June 8 – Canadian Grand Prix
June 22 – Austrian Grand Prix
July 6 – British Grand Prix
July 20 – German Grand Prix at Hockenheim
July 27 – Hungarian Grand Prix
August 24 – Belgian Grand Prix
September 7 – Italian Grand Prix
September 21 – Singapore Grand Prix
October 5 – Japanese Grand Prix
October 12 – Russian Grand Prix
November 2 – United States Grand Prix
November 9 – Brazilian Grand Prix
November 23 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
The two-day Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Test concluded on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Combined times after the two days of running are below, with Nico Jamin (Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires) and Oliver Askew (Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires) remaining on top from Saturday to Sunday, and Darren Keane (Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda) supplanting Andres Gutierrez at the head of that field.
Previous notebooks are linked here (Friday, Saturday), with additional Sunday notes to follow.
Several drivers pulled double duty between series, namely Parker Thompson (Exclusive Autosport in Pro Mazda and USF2000), Carlos Cunha (Juncos Racing in Indy Lights and Pro Mazda) and Aaron Telitz (Team Pelfrey in Pro Mazda, RJB Motorsports in USF2000). Telitz (above) added a run in Pro Mazda in Team Pelfrey’s No. 82 car; the Wisconsinite has done a lot of the series’ testing for the new Pro Mazda Tatuus PM-18, and had hoped to run all three series. We’ll have more meanwhile on Thompson and Exclusive’s double in the days to come; the Michael Duncalfe-led team out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was one of three new Pro Mazda teams adding those cars to USF2000 efforts (Pabst Racing, BN Racing) this week.
There were a handful of drivers that changed cars or teams for Sunday’s second day of the test, primarily in USF2000. While Keane ran both days at Newman Wachs, the Brian Halahan-managed team ran David Osborne and Oscar DeLuzuriaga in the Nos. 37 and 38 cars, taking over from Jake Craig and Max Peichel. Osborne switched from Team Pelfrey, where he ran Saturday, and where Jacob Loomis ran Sunday. Justin Gordon ran a second Exclusive Autosport chassis, switching to the No. 90 on Sunday after running the No. 92 Saturday.
The PM-18 best lap set by Askew is more than three seconds faster than the series’ official track record (Pato O’Ward in 2016, at 1:22.8800, 105.941 mph). Askew’s best time of 1:19.8142 averages 110.010 mph around the 2.439-mile circuit. Neither the Indy Lights nor USF2000 cars eclipsed the existing lap records in those categories.
Drivers largely extolled the PM-18’s outright pace and potential with the horsepower upgrade, in what is a significant step forward for the series. “Following prototype testing of the new PM-18, I believed that we had a special race car and this weekend’s testing confirms that,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Based on team and driver comments, this is a fantastic race car and I am very pleased with what Tatuus, Elite Engines and my team have assembled. It fits perfectly in between the USF-17 and the IL-15 in terms of lap times and, more importantly, it takes what a driver learns in the first step and introduces higher HP, higher grip and higher aero. This will be a great training car for years to come, and seeing our program now with three excellent and well-designed cars is very satisfying to me.”
Keane, one of the few veterans (relatively speaking) within USF2000 was plugged in this weekend as the only driver outside Pabst Racing to threaten the top of the timesheets. “It’s a good boost in confidence for me heading into next year. I am really happy with how everything is going with the team. They are a great group of guys and it’s just really good to see us improving and being where we want to be,” he said.
Rinus Veekay hailed the Indy Lights Dallara IL-15 Mazda this weekend in his first test there, although the talented Dutch teenager may well focus on Pro Mazda next season and shoot to win that championship, and continue his battle with Askew established in USF2000. “The car is very nice, quick,” noted VeeKay. “You can really feel the downforce and it was a pleasure to drive.”
The MRTI is done with official running for the year, but the $200,000 MRTI Scholarship Shootout remains in December at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, the former Firebird Raceway, outside Phoenix. The winner of that will get a ticket into USF2000 for the 2018 season.
Full MRTI spring training will take place at Homestead-Miami Speedway in February 2018, with undoubtedly a bevy of driver and team announcements to come over the following months.