The World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has today confirmed that there will be a 21 race calendar for the 2015 Formula One World Championship.
The WMSC met in Doha to discuss a number of issues before the end of the year. This included a confirmation of the 2015 calendar which includes the shock involvement of the Korean Grand Prix. It also includes a new Grand Prix in Mexico. The season will run from March to November once again starting in Australia and finishing in Abu Dhabi.
- 13th – 15th March – Australian Grand Prix
- 27th – 29th March – Malaysian Grand Prix
- 10th – 12th April – Chinese Grand Prix
- 17th – 19th April – Bahrain Grand Prix
- 1st – 3rd May – Korean Grand Prix (TBC)
- 8th – 10th May – Spanish Grand Prix
- 21st – 24th May – Monaco Grand Prix
- 5th – 7th June – Canadian Grand Prix
- 19th – 21st June – Austrian Grand Prix
- 3rd – 5th July – British Grand Prix
- 17th – 19th July – German Grand Prix
- 24th – 26th July – Hungarian Grand Prix
- 21st – 23rd August – Belgian Grand Prix
- 4th – 6th September – Italian Grand Prix
- 18th – 20th September – Singapore Grand Prix
- 25th – 27th September – Japanese Grand Prix
- 9th – 11th October – Russian Grand Prix
- 23rd – 25th October – US Grand Prix
- 30th October – 1st November – Mexican Grand Prix
- 13th – 15th November – Brazilian Grand Prix
- 27th – 29th November – Abu Dhabi Grand Pri
A number of decisions were also taken in relation to the 2015 sporting and technical regulations. The controversial double points rule which was introduced for the first time in 2014 will be dropped as well as the introduction of standing restarts following a safety car. If a race is suspended, drivers should make their way to the pit-lane – and not the grid as has been the case in the past – where they will line up behind the first car in the fast lane. A solution for backmarkers has also been introduced. In the case of a backmarker needing to unlap themselves before the race restarts after a safety car period, the safety car will enter the pits at the end of the following lap, regardless of if the cars have joined the back of the group.
During this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race weekend drivers tested a new Virtual Safety Car (VSC) system which has now been given the green light for 2015. It will be used when double waved yellow flags are needed on any section of the track but when circumstances do not warrant the use of the safety car itself. Other decisions made include the introduction of a rule which means a driver will have to start from the pit-lane if any team personnel or equipment remains on the grid following the 15 second signal. If a driver does not start from the pit-lane they will be given a ten second stop/go penalty.
On the subject of penalties, drivers will no longer be forced to carry the remainder of a grid penalty for the next race. Instead time penalties will be enforced as follows:
- 1 to 5 grid places remain: a five second stop/go penalty
- 6 to 10 grid places remain: a drive through penalty
- 11 to 20 grid places remain: a ten second stop/go penalty
- more than 20 grid places remain: a time penalty
So, for example, if a driver is given a ten place grid penalty but qualifies 16th out of 22 cars, they will have four grid places remaining so will be given a five second stop/go penalty.
Further news from the World Motorsport Council’s meeting in Doha can be found by following the link, including the conclusions from the Accident Panel’s investigation into Jules Bianchi’s accident.