The FIA World Council has announced its decisions from the meeting today in Dubrovnik, with confirmation of the deal between FOM and the FIA and the news that there will be an FIA “task force” charged with “proposing the allocation of the additional financial resources for the FIA and its membership”. It is interesting to note the word “proposing” rather than “deciding”. The FIA statement says that there will be a tender procedure for appointing single suppliers in the tyre and fuel categories, for the FIA F1 World Championship. Appointing a single fuel supplier is not going to go down with the teams, as they get considerable sponsorship from fuel sponsors and it will be less easy to do such deals if the actual fuel being used is from one supplier. This work will be done by the FIA. Pirelli will continue to supply tyres next year while new systems are implemented.
The World Council confirmed the F1 calendar as follows: March 16, Australia; March 30, Malaysia; April 6, Bahrain; April 20, China; April 27, Korea*; May 11, Spain; May 25, Monaco; June 1, New Jersey*; June 8, Canada; June 22, Austria; July 6, Britain; July 20, Germany; July 27, Hungary; August 24, Belgium; September 7, Italy; September 21, Singapore; October 5, Russia; October 12, Japan; October 26, Abu Dhabi; November 9, Austin; November 16, Mexico*; November 30, Brazil.
This is a 22-race calendar – more than is allowed in the old Concorde Agreement – but it seems that FOM is willing to force the teams to do this. It will also be very expensive because more races than normal are stand-alones and not linked to others. It also breaks all the rules that FOM has applied to races for the last 20-odd years.
In other words, this does not look like a definitive calendar.
It begins with the Australian GP as a stand-alone event and a two-week break before Malaysia and then just a week before Bahrain. This means that teams will have to send their people away for a month. China will be linked with Korea (if the latter happens) but will otherwise be a stand-alone. After the normal scheduling for Spain there will then be a bizarre triple-header involving Monaco, New York and Canada. All thoe involved in F1 transportation say that this is impossible to achieve because the equipment goes to Monaco in trucks and has to then be transferred into boxes and delivered to New York. To transfer from one system to the other takes a minimum of two days and there is then the need to fly everything to New York and get through US customs.
The Formula One group has yet to have a new race that was back-to-back with another. This is always avoided in the first year to ensure that there is no risk of customs and transportation screw-ups because the group would be in deep trouble if it failed to deliver on the races it promises to its sponsors and TV companies.
Perhaps this is the Formula One group’s attempt to change so that system so that more races can be crammed into the calendar (and thus more more money made) but it is much more likely that the calendar presented will not get through the WMSC meeting in December. There are similar back-to-backs with the new races in Mexico and Russia.
All things considered it is an unrealistic calendar.