Cal­en­dar ex­pands to 20 con­firmed races for 2015

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

The re­turn­ing Mex­i­can Grand Prix will run back-to-back with the US GP – po­ten­tially re­duc­ing attendance at the Austin race

For 2015, For­mula 1 will equal its long­est ever sea­son, with the pub­li­ca­tion of a 20-race sched­ule that fea­tures the re­turn of the Mex­i­can Grand Prix. The Autó­dromo Her­manos Ro­dríguez will host its rst race in 23 years on 1 Novem­ber – just one week after the US GP.

Mex­ico’s for­mi­da­ble, banked, 160mph Per­al­tada cor­ner will not be part of the up­dated track. The end of the lap has been re­mod­elled be­cause build­ings since con­structed around it make it im­pos­si­ble to ren­der the Per­al­tada safe.

De­spite spec­u­la­tion that the sea­son would open in Bahrain, it will be­gin in Aus­tralia on 15 March, and fea­tures four sets of ‘dou­ble­head­ers’ or back-to-back race week­ends. The rst of th­ese is near the start of the sea­son: the Malaysian GP takes place on 29 March fol­lowed seven days later by Bahrain on 5 April. The other three dou­ble-head­ers are the Ger­man and Hun­gar­ian GPs on the last two week­ends in July, the Sin­ga­pore and Ja­panese GPs at the end of Septem­ber and the US and Mex­i­can GPs.

The race in New Jersey is still yet to ma­te­ri­alise on ac­count of it fail­ing to raise the nec­es­sary funds, and the re­turn of the Mex­i­can GP has raised con­cerns about the vi­a­bil­ity of the race in Austin. Up to 40 per cent of the US GP’s au­di­ence is of Mex­i­can ori­gin – ei­ther com­ing from across the bor­der or drawn from the USA’s size­able Mex­i­can com­mu­nity.

Se­nior gures have ex­pressed con­cerns that host­ing a race in Mex­ico City a week after a race in Texas, could re­duce attendance at the US GP, plac­ing the event’s fu­ture in jeop­ardy.

Ques­tions have also been raised over the Ger­man GP, which al­ter­nates be­tween Hock­en­heim and the Nür­bur­gring. Next year is the Nür­bur­gring’s turn, but its nan­cial sta­bil­ity is in doubt, de­spite ru­mours of a takeover deal in­volv­ing F1 boss Bernie Ec­cle­stone.

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