I think we are on provisional calendar number three at the moment, and while it is good for the sport to get such an important part of the Formula One World Championship correct, it is annoying me that I can’t book my summer holiday yet. And on a slightly more serious note, the Chinese Grand Prix has moved and there is still no return of Canada to the calendar, suggesting that there has been no further development between the Canadian officials and Bernie Ecclestone.
Since its inception in 2004, Shanghai has had a late spot on the calendar, usually following the Japanese Grand Prix in late-September or early-October. However, it has been decided to bring the event forward for 2009, meaning the race will now be held in mid-April. Sandwiched between Malaysia and Bahrain as the third round of the championship, travelling expenses have been kept to a minimum – the distance from Malaysia to China isn’t too great of a journey. This adjustment allows the season to finish a little earlier than had been previously mooted, and it brings the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi races forward by two weeks.
In 2003, it was decided to run the Brazilian Grand Prix in the first half of the season as opposed to its usual final-round status. This meant the event was held under a torrential downpour of rain and the race was red flagged after Fernando Alonso suffered an almighty accident on the run up the hill onto the start/finish straight. Ecclestone also decided once to bring the British Grand Prix forward, which also resulted in heavy rain falling throughout the weekend, turning the car park in to a mud bath.
However, Japan and China regularly see heavy rain during the latter part of the year, so by bringing the Chinese Grand Prix forward we might see improved weather. Also of note with this updated calendar is the lack of a Canadian Grand Prix. It had been stricken off with the previous schedule, prompting an outcry from the fans and the teams. It would mean North America not having any part in the Formula One World Championship, the US Grand Prix failing to return after its 2007 event. Talks were being held between the government and Bernie Ecclestone, but it would seem little progress has been made. Although, despite my upbeat post about improved transparency, we are in the dark as to any potential developments or possibilities of reinstatement.
The French Grand Prix has also been omitted now, and the team’s have been given their wish of a summer break, a month being freed up between the Hungarian round in late July and the European round (held at Valencia) in late August. Having said all this though, the calendar is still provisional and judging how many schedules we’ve had this year, I won’t be booking anything just yet!
2009 Formula One World Championship Calendar
It’s still provisional though…
|Australian Grand Prix Albert Park||March 29th, 2009|
|Malaysian Grand Prix Sepang||April 5th, 2009|
|Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai||April 19th, 2009|
Bahrain Grand Prix Sakhir
|April 26th, 2009|
|Spanish Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya||May 10th, 2009|
|Monaco Grand Prix Monte Carlo||May 24th, 2009|
|Turkish Grand Prix Istanbul Park||June 7th, 2009|
|British Grand Prix Silverstone||June 21st, 2009|
|German Grand Prix Nurburgring||July 12th, 2009|
|Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring||July 26th, 2009|
|European Grand Prix Valencia||August 23rd, 2009|
|Belgian Grand Prix Spa Francorchamps||August 30th, 2009|
|Italian Grand Prix Monza||September 13th, 2009|
|Singapore Grand Prix Singapore||September 27th, 2009|
|Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka||October 11th, 2009|
|Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos||October 18th, 2009|
|Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Marina Bay||November 1st, 2009|