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Volume 6 No. 194
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FIA Adds Mystery Race To '13 F1 Calendar, Possible Return Of Turkish Grand Prix

F1 could have 20 races again next season after the governing body FIA "penciled in a mystery European round in July to fill a space left by the postponed Grand Prix of America in New Jersey," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. FIA said on Wednesday that the German Grand Prix would move up a week to July 7, with July 21 now "reserved for another F1 European event" subject to approval of national bodies. While no further details were given, "speculation focused mainly on the possible return of the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul." F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "dropped a hint" on Tuesday when he told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport he was going to Istanbul "to try and revive the Turkish Grand Prix and take part in the world council." Another option could be Austria, whose former Österreichring (also known as the A1 Ring) "has now been revamped by owners Red Bull since it last hosted a grand prix in '03 and is an easy drive from Budapest." Helmut Marko, a close aid to Red Bull's billionaire Owner Dietrich Mateschitz, was quoted in Austria this week as saying a grand prix in the country could not be ruled out: "With Mateschitz, you can never say never. Let's see how it develops." FIA "also made amendments to the technical and sporting regulations for next season." It "included more stringent front wing deflection tests, after a number of controversies in that area this year, and an increase in the minimum weight of cars to compensate for heavier Pirelli tyres" (REUTERS, 12/5).

GEOGRAPHY LESSON: The BBC's Andrew Benson wrote the Turkish Grand Prix track "is not in Europe -- it is on the Asian side of the Bosphorus." But it is often referred to as a "European" race. An FIA statement from the World Motorsport Council, which is meeting in the Turkish city this week, said the new race was "subject to approval by the relevant" national sporting authorities. In addition, "there have been efforts in recent months to revive the French Grand Prix, which was last held in '08, but it is thought that an agreement on that event is still some way off" (BBC, 12/5). In London, Kevin Eason wrote "there will be little joy in F1 to discover that Turkey could be back on the schedule." The track is regarded as one of the finest, but "spectators shunned the event that was conducted in near-anonymity before being abandoned two years ago." The extra race on the schedule is important because Ecclestone needs to "make a full complement of 20 grands prix promised to broadcasters" (LONDON TIMES, 12/6).

2013 F1 Calendar

  • March 17 - Australia (Melbourne)
  • March 24 - Malaysia (Sepang) 
  • April 14 - China (Shanghai)
  • April 21 - Bahrain (Sakhir)
  • May 12 - Spain (Barcelona)
  • May 26 - Monaco 
  • June 9 - Canada (Montreal)
  • June 30 - Britain (Silverstone)
  • July 7 - Germany (Nürburgring/Hockenheim)
  • July 21 - TBA
  • July 28 - Hungary (Hungaroring)
  • Aug. 25 - Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
  • Sept. 8 - Italy (Monza)
  • Sept. 22 - Singapore (Marina Bay)
  • Oct. 6 - South Korea (Yeongam) *
  • Oct. 13 - Japan (Suzuka)
  • Oct. 27 - India (Buddh International)
  • Nov. 3 - Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
  • Nov. 17 - U.S. (Austin)
  • Nov. 24 - Brazil (Interlagos)  
* Subject to confirmation