The ongoing mess that is the Formula 1 calendar
Several venues are struggling to stay on the Formula 1 calendar; others willing to join are yet to sort deals that will secure their slots. Dieter Rencken explains why the current business model is not sustainable
It's been a subtle but profound shift in strategy on the part of F1's commercial rights holder, Formula One Management: where the six grands prix (Bahrain, China, Turkey, Valencia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi) added to the calendar between 2004 and '09 were all government-backed, the latest half-dozen (India, Texas, Austria, Russia and New Jersey) - with the arguable exception of Russia's race - have all been privately funded, with possible public subsidies being applied retrospectively.
True, the events in Spielberg (Austria), Sochi (Russia) and New Jersey (USA) have yet to be confirmed, but in all instances their promoters are adamant the events will be staged in 2014, to the extent that the first-named pair started marketing activities around dates they claim to have been granted by FOM - despite no draft calendar having (as yet) been lodged with the FIA's World Motorsport Council, F1's ultimate authority.
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