Courtesy of iRACE F1 Schedule '98: No Asian GPs After All by Mike Doodson (Sept. 29, 1997) -- A draft calendar of next year's Grand Prix races, put together by iRACE from reliable sources inside F1, confirms that the 1998 world championship...
Courtesy of iRACE
F1 Schedule '98: No Asian GPs After All
by Mike Doodson (Sept. 29, 1997) -- A draft calendar of next year's Grand Prix races, put together by iRACE from reliable sources inside F1, confirms that the 1998 world championship will kick off as usual in Melbourne, Australia on March 8.
The dates follow much the same pattern as this year's events, with no sign of the Asian events -- notably in Malaysia and Korea -- which had been tipped by FIA President Max Mosley to be joining the F1 nations in 1998.
Missing from the list, at least for the moment, is the French round -- the longest established Grand Prix of them all, with a history going back almost 90 years -- at Magny-Cours in June.
It is understood that F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone wishes to make an example of the French event, which has been at the centre of several irritating controversies in recent years, notably those regarding TV rights and tobacco advertising.
The French race also has difficulties because the broadcasting equipment of the national TV companies is committed to providing coverage of the football World Cup, to be hosted by France throughout June.
However, with a five week gap in mid summer around what should have been the French date, it is widely expected that France will gets its race as usual once some minor political clashes have been resolved.
The draft calendar includes 16 races, with one more (France) to be announced. It is entirely possible, however, that a date will be found for a 18th event, as with the "European GP," the race which closes the 1997 season as its 17th round, at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain.
FIA World Championship unofficial 1998 F1 calendar:
March 8 Australia Melbourne March 29 Brazil Sao Paulo April 12 Argentina Buenos Aires April 26 San Marino Imola May 10 Spain Barcelona May 24 Monaco Monaco June 7 Canada Montreal July 12 Britain Silverstone July 26 Austria A1-Ring August 2 Germany Hockenheim August 16 Hungary Budapest August 30 Belgium Spa-Francorchamps September 13 Italy Monza September 27 Luxembourg Nurburgring October 11 Portugal Estoril November 1 Japan Suzuka
-- Chris Poterala - email@example.com