BACK ON THE GP CALENDAR? A South Korean Formula 1 GP has been returned to the race calender for 2015 - but only provisionally - for May 3. Image: AFP / Nicolas Asfouri
• South Korea provisional
• Last-race double points scrapped
• Season to start on March 15
• Bahrain and China swop slots
LONDON, England - The South Korean GP has been reinstated, though only provisionally, as one leg of a record 21-race calendar for 2015 and last-race double points scrapped.
The 2015 season will start, as usual, in Australia on March 5 2015.
The International Automobile Federation listed the Korean race as Round 5 of the season on May 3 with the 2015 Spanish GP in Barcelona on May 10.
The tight turnaround, and teams' previous reluctance to have more than 20 races immediately raised doubts about the likelihood of the Korean race happening, however.
Mexico will also return to the calendar after 23 years with a race scheduled for Nov 1 in Mexico City.
China becomes the third race of the season on April 12, taking the slot initially assigned to Bahrain on a previous draft calendar. Bahrain is pushed back to April 19.
DOUBLE POINTS DITCHED
Changes to the sporting regulations include scrapping the controversial (though exciting, as it turned out in the final race at Abu Dhabi) experiment with double points.
The format was unpopular with fans and risked making a mockery of the season, with eventual champion Lewis Hamilton in danger of losing out to Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg despite winning 10 races compared to the German's five.
A plan to introduce standing re-starts after the introduction of a safety car was also jettisoned after teams raised safety concerns. (Quite right, why risk a second - even third or fourth - grid start with the high chance of collisions. What is this, Gladiators? - Editor)
However a 'virtual safety car' system was agreed. A statement from the federation said: "It will normally be used when double waved yellow flags are needed on any section of track and competitors or officials may be in danger, but the circumstances are not such as to warrant use of the safety car itself."
Here’s the provisional 2015 Formula 1 GP calendar:
15: Australia (Melbourne)
29: Malaysia (Sepang)
12: China (Shanghai)
19: Bahrain (Sakhir)
3: South Korea (to be confirmed)
10: Spain (Barcelona)
7: Canada (Montreal)
21: Austria (Red Bull Ring, Spielberg)
5: Great Britain (Silverstone)
19: Germany (Nurburgring)
26: Hungary (Budapest)
23: Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
6: Italy (Monza)
20: Singapore (Marina Bay)
27: Japan (Suzuka)
11: Russia (Sochi)
25: United States (Austin)
1: Mexico (Mexico City)
15: Brazil (Sao Paulo)
29: Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)