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Mexico on draft F1 calendar, no New Jersey

F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone looks out of his motor home after the second practice for the German F1 Grand Prix at the Nuerburgri
F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone looks out of his motor home after the second practice for the German F1 Grand Prix at the Nuerburgri

By Alan Baldwin

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Mexico City looks set to host a Formula One grand prix next year for the first time since 1992 while New Jersey, whose debut was postponed this season, is again absent from a draft 21-race calendar seen by teams and broadcasters.

Team sources, sent the list by commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, expressed some skepticism about the number of races however.

"It remains to be seen which one is dropped," one team principal told Reuters at the Italian Grand Prix, the last European round of this season.

If approved as it stands by the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) at a world motorsport council meeting in Croatia later this month, the draft calendar would have more races than ever before.

The previous record is 20, with 19 held this year, and most of the teams are reluctant to go above that number because of the stresses imposed on personnel such as engineers and mechanics.

Mexico, a new grand prix in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi and South Korea all have asterisks against their slots indicating they are subject to contract and track approval by the governing body.

India has been dropped as previously announced, with hopes for a comeback in 2015, while Austria is due to make a return after an 11-year break with a race at Spielberg on June 22.

Mexico's absence has been even longer, with the last Formula One race held at the capital's Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 1992 and won by Britain's Nigel Mansell.

The country currently has two Formula One drivers in McLaren's Sergio Perez and Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez and has been pushing hard to get back on the calendar for some years.

The race would be the first leg of a double-header with the U.S. Grand Prix held in Austin, Texas, with the races on November 9 and 16 before the finale in Brazil.

Bahrain's bid to open the championship in the new era of V6 turbocharged hybrid engines appears to have failed with the country penciled in for the fifth race of the year.

The draft calendar has Australia, the traditional opener, kicking off a season that could bring a radical shake-up of the pecking order with a race in Melbourne on March 16 and followed by Malaysia the weekend after.

China and Korea would be next, on April 6 and 13.

Draft calendar sent to teams:

March 16 - Australia (Melbourne)

March 23 - Malaysia (Sepang)

April 6 - China (Shanghai)

April 13 - Korea* (Mokpo)

April 27 - Bahrain

May 11 - Spain (Barcelona)

May 25 - Monaco

June 8 - Canada (Montreal)

June 22 - Austria (Spielberg)

July 6 - Britain (Silverstone)

July 20 - Germany (Hockenheim)

July 27 - Hungary (Budapest)

August 24 - Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)

September 7 - Italy (Monza)

September 21 - Singapore

October 5 - Japan (Suzuka)

October 19 - Russia* (Sochi)

October 26 - Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)

November 9 - Mexico* (Mexico City)

November 16 - USA (Austin, Texas)

November 30 - Brazil (Sap Paulo)

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Fallon)

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