A provisional calendar for the 2013 F1 season has broken cover today in the Singapore paddock, with Autosport.com breaking the news this morning.
It is quite similar in composition and timing to this year’s calendar.
It features 20 races, including the inaugural New Jersey Grand Prix on June 16th, replacing Valencia, which will alternate with Barcelona as home of the Spanish GP.
New Jersey is still provisional, subject to an FIA track inspection, which will take place 60 days before the due date.
However the races in Korea and Singapore are also noted as provisional. Korea is known to have some financial issues and may well fall off the calendar before or after next year’s race.
Singapore’s contract is due for renewal and is the subject of negotiation at the moment. One possibility is that it continues on a rolling one year basis, which would probably suit Singapore more than F1’s commercial bosses, who like the security of long contracts not least when planning a flotation of the F1 business.
However Singapore is in a special position; like Monaco, it is one of only two races that do more for F1 than F1 does for the venue. Singapore is the gateway to Asia, which is vital for many of the major companies and sponsors in F1, in some cases the exposure in Asia is their main reason for being in the sport. And for that reason FOM and its major shareholder CVC will be very keen to maintain Singapore on the calendar.
There are some curious details, like the three week gap between Silverstone (on June 30) and Germany on July 21. This makes it two three week gaps within a two month period, which looks rather lopsided, when there are only two weekends off in period containing the final six races of the season.
As usual, the calendar requires ratification from the FIA World Motro Sport Council, which meets next month.
There is also the small matter of the teams not having entries for next season. Normally they are all paid up and entered by now, but the FIA sent back their entries in July, pushing the deadline back to the end of September as rules, rule making, the composition of the F1 Commission, the 2014 new generation engines and many other aspects of the running of the sport are debated and negotiated between FOM and the FIA, which wants a greater share of the financial revenues of the sport than it gets under the 100 year agreement. It’s all up in the air at the moment.
A new Concorde Agreement for eight years starting in 2013 is more or less ready for signature, all but two of the teams have commercial offers to compete and all but one of these have signed them, with Mercedes on the point of doing so.
But there is a lot more horse trading to be done behind the scenes as we count down to the September 30 deadline.
Provisional 2013 Formula 1 calendar
March 17 Australia (Melbourne)
March 24 Malaysia (Sepang)
April 14 China (Shanghai)
April 21 Bahrain (Sakhir)
May 12 Spain (Barcelona)
May 26 Monaco (Monte Carlo)
June 9 Canada (Montreal)
June 16 America (New Jersey) *
June 30 Britain (Silverstone)
July 21 Germany (Hockenheim)
July 28 Hungary (Hungaroring)
September 1 Belgium (Spa)
September 8 Italy (Monza)
September 22 Singapore (Marina Bay) *
October 6 Japan (Suzuka)
October 13 Korea (Yeongam) *
October 27 India (Buddh International Circuit)
November 3 Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
November 17 United States (Austin)
November 24 Brazil (Interlagos)
* subject to confirmation