/ Motorsport

New Jersey, Mexico and S Korea off Formula One calendar

Updated: Wednesday, 04 Dec 2013 14:57 | Comments

The Korea International Circuit
The Korea International Circuit

Races in New Jersey, Mexico and South Korea were dropped from Formula One's official 2014 calendar, with the season remaining at 19 races instead of a record 22.
              
All three grands prix had been listed provisionally, with asterisks against them, on a previous calendar published in September by the sport's governing International Automobile Federation (FIA).
              
None appeared however on the final version issued today after a meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sports Council in Paris.
              
New Jersey's Grand Prix of the Americas, with New York's skyscraper skyline as a backdrop, had been due for a debut this year but that had to be postponed due to financial issues which continue to plague the race.
              
Mexico would have been making its return in November after a 22-year absence but there have been doubts over the readiness of the Mexico City track.
              
The poorly-attended Korean race, one of the least popular among Formula One's travelling fraternity, has sustained heavy losses.
              
Organisers, whose race at Yeongam in the far south was due to be moved from October to April, had sought a contract re-negotiation with the sport's hard-nosed commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
              
India has also been axed from the 2014 calendar, although race promoters are hoping to return in 2015, while Austria is back after a decade away and Russia hosts a race for the first time in next year's Winter Olympic city of Sochi.

The revised calendar led to a reshuffling of some date and teams will be particularly relieved not to have the logistical headache of a 'triple header' of Monaco, New Jersey and Canada to contend with on successive weekends in May and June.
              
The cancellation of Mexico, which would have been the penultimate race, sees Brazil's Interlagos and Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina swap places with the Middle East circuit now due to end the season on Nov. 23.
              
The absence of New Jersey, while expected, will be the biggest blow for a sport still battling for more than a niche profile in the United States, a major market for carmakers like Mercedes and Ferrari.
              
Most teams were reluctant to extend the season beyond 20 races, fearful for the impact of the increased burden on staff like engineers and mechanics as well as higher costs if more people had to be hired to cope.
              
The United States already has one popular grand prix in Austin, Texas.

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