Melbourne will retain its billing as the host of the first round of the Formula One season, with the sport’s governing body confirming the Australian event’s place in the 2014 world championship calendar.
Published by the FIA, the 2014 F1 calendar puts to bed mid-year reports that the Australian Grand Prix would lose its opening round status to Bahrain.
Four Grands Prix have been added to the events list for next year: New Jersey; Austria; Russia; and Mexico, however, the FIA points out that New Jersey, Mexico and also Korea remain “provisional” at this stage with the former two being “subject to circuit approval”.
Planned for June 1 – sandwiched between Monaco in late May and Canada in the second week of June – the on-again off-again US round is to take place on a temporary street circuit encompassing the Hudson River and the New York City skyline.
The Austrian Grand Prix will be staged at the former A1-Ring – now known as Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring – which previously hosted the race between 1997 and 2003. The venue can trace its heritage back to the Osterreichring, a track that was home to 18 consecutive Grands Prix starting in 1970.
To follow the Russian Federation’s inaugural Winter Olympics in February, the Russian Grand Prix will be run at an all-new 5.9km circuit in Sochi on October 5. With 18 turns, the Sochi Olympic Park Circuit will be the third-longest of all current F1 circuits after Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps and Great Britain’s Silverstone.
The new season will see the return of Mexico to the F1 calendar, with Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to stage the event as it last did back in 1992.
Despite adding a further three rounds to the 19-round 2013 season, the Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi has been dropped. Taking place at the Buddh International Circuit, the event first debuted on the F1 calendar in 2011.
Along with new cars and new turbocharged engines, 2014 will be West Australian Daniel Ricciardo’s first year with Infiniti Red Bull Racing following the retirement of Mark Webber (pictured).
Last week, Formula 1 insiders were reported to believe a contract that would see Melbourne host the AGP beyond 2015 was close to being secured.
The 2014 calendar in full:
Australia – March 16
Malaysia – March 30
Bahrain – April 6
China – April 20
Korea (provisional) – April 27
Spain – May 11
Monaco – May 25
America, New Jersey (provisional) – June 1
Canada – June 6
Austria – June 22
Britain – July 6
Germany – July 20
Hungary – July 27
Belgium – August 24
Italy – September 7
Singapore – September 21
Russia – October 5
Japan – October 12
Abu Dhabi – October 26
USA, Austin – November 9
Mexico (provisional) – November 16
Brazil – November 30