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Korean GP set for Formula One return

The Korean Grand Prix is set to return to the Formula One calendar in 2015 after being listed as a surprise inclusion on a provisional calendar that swells to a record 21 races.

Having hosted a grand prix since 2010 the event was dropped from this season’s schedule amid long-running speculation over its future. The race is held at the remote location of Yeongam with initial visions of the circuit being the centrepiece of a ‘sports city’ development. However, this development has not transpired and the event had continually suffered from poor attendances.

Nevertheless, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) has listed Korea as the fifth round of the season on May 3, sandwiched between the Bahrain GP and the Spanish GP. F1 teams have stated their reluctance to expand the calendar beyond 20 races and the Korean GP has been listed as ‘to be confirmed’ by the FIA.

The only other addition to the 2015 schedule comes in the form of the Mexican GP, which has been handed a date of November 1. Mexican live events company CIE and the federal government in July agreed terms with the Formula One group on a five-year deal for Mexico City to stage a round of the championship, with the contract worth about $72m (€52.9m) per year.

Mexico City first hosted Formula One in 1963 and was a permanent fixture for the next seven years. It then returned to the calendar in 1986 and hosted a further six grands prix, the last of which was won by Williams' Nigel Mansell in 1992. The race will be held at Mexico City’s Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez, which will undergo redevelopment before next year’s event

In other news, the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) meeting confirmed that the controversial double points rule will be removed for the 2015 season. The rule awarding double points at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP could have had a major effect on the drivers’ championship with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in contention for the title heading into last month’s race.

Mechanical problems for Rosberg ultimately meant that the prospect of a contentious end to the season was avoided as his British rival clinched race victory and the championship, but the rule was heavily criticised throughout the campaign.

Finally, FIA president Jean Todt said the next meeting of the Strategy Group will take place on December 18, focusing on reducing costs, improving the show, making cars quicker and more difficult to drive, and reviewing the technical and sporting regulations, with the aim of simplifying the rules where possible.