Doha: South Korea could make a surprise return to the Formula One menu for 2015 but controversial double points have been scrapped, the sport's governing body the FIA announced on Wednesday.
Korea's provisional inclusion in a first ever 21-race calendar also featuring the anticipated return of Mexico was announced after the FIA's meeting in Doha. The ratified calendar marks the Korean race status as 'to be confirmed', with a choice of venues at either its original home in Mokpo or around the streets of the capital Seoul. South Korea, which held F1 races between 2010 and 2013, is scheduled to slot in as the fifth leg of the season on May 3.
It would fall between Bahrain, which is now after the Chinese GP, and Spain. Formula One makes a comeback in Mexico for the first time since 1992. The Mexico City race will be held at the back end of the year, on November 1, before Brazil and the season-closer in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi's double points system which added a controversial twist to the championship showdown between Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg has been done away with.
Hamilton won his second world title at Yas Marina last month as Marussia driver Jules Bianchi continued his battle from life threatening injuries from his crash in Suzuka. Since the Frenchman's horrific accident the FIA has been examining ways to improve safety. One of these, the virtual safety car system trialled in the final three races, has been approved for next year.
This forces drivers to automatically slow down if ordered by the race stewards in the event of a section of the circuit being deemed dangerous due to an accident. Bianchi was left in a coma when his car smashed into a trackside crane in the process of removing Adrian Sutil's stranded Sauber. The FIA's 10-man panel reviewing safety following Bianchi's accident also recommended applying yellow flag speed limits, the FIA reported.