The third and final F1 2015 Primer on MotorSportsTalk ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix looks at the tracks that will be raced on this year, spanning five continents and 20 different countries.
The calendar remains much the same as it was in 2014, but here’s the complete calendar and a few thoughts on races that are coming and going in F1 over the next few years.
THE NEW ADDITION
Just one new race on the calendar for the 2015 season, with the Mexican Grand Prix returning to F1 after 23 years away. The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City will once again host a grand prix, albeit with a slightly different layout that has removed some of the best sections of the circuit, such as the famous Peraltada final corner.
Nevertheless, it promises to be a wonderful event. In the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing a special digital-only version of Off The Grid where Will Buxton and Jason Swales head to Mexico City to see how preparations for the race are going.
Mexico is an important addition to the calendar. It is a huge market for F1, with Force India’s Sergio Perez and Ferrari reserve Esteban Gutierrez both flying the flag for the home fans. Normally, a large Mexican contingency makes the trip over to Austin, Texas for the United States Grand Prix. Now, they will get the chance for two races close to home in two weeks. Great news indeed for F1 and for motorsport in Mexico.
THE ‘ALMOST’ EVENTS
When the 2015 calendar was first unveiled, it featured an unprecedented 21 races thanks to the addition of the Korean Grand Prix. The race was ambitiously pencilled in as part of a back-to-back with the Spanish Grand Prix – just the 19 hours by plane apart – to ensure that F1 was not in breach of its contract. Unsurprisingly, the event was then canned, with the organizers saying that they had not expected to be included on the calendar. The race was last held in 2013 and appears to stand little chance of returning anytime soon.
Other almost events include France (long-rumored but without any real hope as things stand), Azerbaijan (set for 2016) and, of course, New Jersey. The proposed Grand Prix of America appears to be colder than ever, and wasn’t even included on a provisional calendar for 2015 as it had been in the past. US fans continue to dream of a second race, but for now, it appears that Austin is going to be as good as it gets (which, in fairness, is no bad thing).
WILL THERE BE A GERMAN GRAND PRIX?
The other big question that still needs to be answered for 2015 is whether or not there will be a German Grand Prix in 2015. It seems odd given that a German driver has won nine of the world championships since the turn of the century (five for Michael Schumacher, four for Sebastian Vettel) and that a German team won last year’s constructors’ championship (Mercedes).
In the past, Hockenheim and the Nurburgring have shared the race, hosting in alternate years to ensure that neither makes a loss for two years in a row. However, it emerged at the end of last year that the Nurburgring was not able to host the race in 2015, with Bernie Ecclestone saying it would be moved to Hockenheim – except officials knew not of his decision.
Most recently, Ecclestone said that he had set a deadline of last weekend for the venues, but we’re still none the wiser. Rumor has it that if the race does return in the future, it could be part of a back-to-back with the Belgian Grand Prix as part of a shift in the European calendar, but for 2015, question marks remain.
2015 Formula 1 Calendar
1. Australian Grand Prix 13-15 March
2. Malaysian Grand Prix 29-31 March
3. Chinese Grand Prix 10-12 April
4. Bahrain Grand Prix 17-19 April
5. Spanish Grand Prix 8-10 May
6. Monaco Grand Prix 21-24 May
7. Canadian Grand Prix 5-7 June
8. Austrian Grand Prix 19-21 June
9. British Grand Prix 3-5 July
10. German Grand Prix 17-19 July
11. Hungarian Grand Prix 24-26 July
12. Belgian Grand Prix 21-23 August
13. Italian Grand Prix 4-6 September
14. Singapore Grand Prix 18-20 September
15. Japanese Grand Prix 25-27 September
16. Russian Grand Prix 9-11 October
17. United States Grand Prix 23-25 October
18. Mexican Grand Prix 30 October – 1 November
19. Brazilian Grand Prix 13-15 November
20. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 27-29 November