F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone Says New Jersey, Mexico Races Unlikely In '14
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said that the proposed races in Mexico and New Jersey "are unlikely to happen next year," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. Both events were on a 22-race calendar published in September but the 83-year-old, speaking at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, "doubted they would stay on a final version due to be approved by the governing body next month." When asked about New Jersey, whose debut has already been postponed once, he said, "I would doubt whether it's going to happen. It's not definite that it will or won't (go ahead) but I doubt that it does." Mexico, whose race is scheduled for Nov. 16 as the penultimate round of the season at Mexico City's Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, "also has an asterisk against it on the provisional calendar." Ecclestone said, "Definitely not." He then corrected himself, saying, "Probably not" (REUTERS, 11/3). AUTOSPORT's Jonathan Noble reported the "absence of those races will reduce the season to 20 races, which teams have long viewed as the maximum number of events they can comfortably cope with." As well as the "changes to those venues, some consideration is also being given to reshuffling the start of the season so that the second race in Malaysia is moved forward a week." Doing so "would make it a double-header with Australia" -- which would be cheaper for teams than having it back-to-back with Bahrain as it currently is. Korean organizers "are also still in discussion" with Ecclestone about its scheduled April slot after China (AUTOSPORT, 11/3). REUTERS reported Ecclestone said that a deal "has been done for India to return to the Formula One calendar in 2015 and for six years beyond that if tax problems with the country's authorities can be overcome." He said, "The door is open for them. It's all there. Done. That's all done. Just a case of the government sorting itself out." Indian motorsports chief Vicky Chandhok said last week that race promoter Sameer Gaur, of Jaypee Sports International (JPSI), "was also speaking of a five-year extension." Ecclestone said that "a new deal had now been agreed" (REUTERS, 11/2).