Korean Grand Prix is off – but why was it ever on?

The brief reap­pear­ance of the un­pop­u­lar race on the sched­ule may have been ar­ranged to trig­ger change in the tech­ni­cal rules

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

The Korean Grand Prix, which ap­peared on an ofcial 2015 For­mula 1 cal­en­dar de­spite no­body ex­pect­ing it ac­tu­ally to take place, has now ofcially been re­moved from the sched­ule.

There was wide­spread sur­prise when the 2015 cal­en­dar pub­lished by the FIA World Mo­tor Sport Coun­cil be­fore Christ­mas in­cluded the race on 3 May – a week be­fore the Span­ish GP. Go­ing from a long-haul ‘yaway’, where ev­ery­thing is in crates, to a Euro­pean race, com­plete with mo­torhomes and trucks, in that time would have been a lo­gis­ti­cal night­mare greater than any­thing the teams have had to man­age be­fore.

The Kore­ans ex­pressed sur­prise about the race, say­ing they knew noth­ing about it, that the orig­i­nal or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee of the race in Yeongam had no money and that a long-hope­d­for street race in Seoul could not pos­si­bly be made ready for 2015.

It all added up to a race that could never hap­pen. So why did it ap­pear on the cal­en­dar in the rst place?

The an­swer is that 2015 tech­ni­cal rules dic­tate that teams can use only four power units through­out the year – one fewer than in 2014. Re­nault, wor­ried about the poor re­li­a­bil­ity of their en­gine last year, cam­paigned for man­u­fac­tur­ers to be al­lowed to use ve again, but changes to the tech­ni­cal reg­u­la­tions re­quires unan­i­mous agree­ment from all teams.

The rules dic­tate that if there are more than 20 races “as orig­i­nally sched­uled” then teams can use ve en­gines. The cal­en­dar pub­lished by the FIA in De­cem­ber could be ar­gued to be ‘the orig­i­nal sched­ule’. Thus, with Korea added, teams would be al­lowed to use ve en­gines next year – even if the race never takes place.

The prob­lem is that some teams have con­tracts with For­mula 1 that dic­tate a max­i­mum of 20 races, and some have ar­gued that the ‘orig­i­nal sched­ule’ was the one pub­lished last Septem­ber that did not in­clude Korea. As F1 Rac­ing closed for press, it was un­clear which in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the reg­u­la­tions would stand.

The Korean Grand Prix, which last took place in 2013, is un­likely to held again any time soon

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.