Calendar expands to 20 confirmed races for 2015
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.