No Asian GPs on '98 Schedule

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

http://www.irace.com/series/f1/1997/F1sked_092997.htm

-- Chris Poterala - potsie@irace.com

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone