This post is a little late – my apologies for that – I chose to take a couple of days off from blogging before the season began and pre-published this article, but I messed up the dates and it didn’t go up when it was supposed to, my bad. But without any furthur ado, here is the Formula One 2007 calendar.
With the 2007 season just starting in Australia, a post dedicated to the circuits the teams will be flying around this year is in order. With seventeen races for 2007, the Formula One season is reduced by one Grand Prix over last year with the omission of San Marino along with the change in Japan and Germany and the re-inclusion of Spa Francorchamps.
The calendar was announced unusually early last year, and while much speculation was circulated at the time, the answer appeared to come down to Bernie Ecclestone putting pressure on the San Marino Grand Prix organisers to complete much needed improvement works on time – the provisional calendar was published without Imola being listed.
However, the tactic didn’t work and while the works at Imola have begun, they would not be completed in time for its normal late April slot – the San Marino Grand Prix was written off for 2007.
It also became apparent that Hockenheim and Nurburgring were facing financial difficulties in hosting two races between them – the German Grand Prix and the European Grand Prix respectively – and the two major circuits decided to share the German event, alternating each year. 2007 will see the cars line up on the Nurburgring grid, while Hockenheim will take over the reigns for 2008.
Japan also faced pressure from Bernie Ecclestone regarding pit and paddock facilities, and the famous Suzuka circuit has been replaced with the lesser known Fuji. Much to the upset of Formula One fans the world over, Honda owned Suzuka will not make a return to F1 racing until 2008 at the earliest, possible billed as an Asian or Pacific Grand Prix. Toyota owned Fuji has had major redevelopment work done to it recently, and while F1’s rich and famous will surely be dined to impressively high standards, I fear the racing will not be as spectacular. However, along with everyone else, I will have to wait before making a firm judgement on that one.
So round one will see the 2007 season return to its now traditional Grand Prix opener – Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia. The street circuit has been in use since 1996 when it took over the reigns from the Adelaide Parklands course, which saw Damon Hill win two Australian Grands Prix back-to-back, albeit in two different seasons (Adelaide then traditionally held the season close before Albert Park became the season opener).
The circuit has received high praise from drivers and fans alike, and although it doesn’t have the technical supremacy of Suzuka, or the guts-and-balls of Spa, the organisation of the event is of an impeccably high standard – Australians know how to put on a race, that is for certain. Running around the perimeter of the Albert Park lake, the circuit has seen a lot of drama in the last decade, notably Martin Brundle’s somersaulting Jordan at turn two in the event’s inaugural race in ’96. Jacques Villeneuve has also had a close-up view of the circuits barriers in his BAR, and Australia’s Mark Webber famously took two points for the fledgling Minardi team in his first race in 2005, bringing tears to then Minardi boss (and fellow Aussie) Paul Stoddart.
After Australia, Formula One immediately relocates to Sepang in Malaysia, and then on to Bahrain, a circuit that featured during the winter as a change in testing venues. Then Formula One takes close to a month off before heading back to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 13th.
BlogF1 will take a closer look at each circuit as the race approaches. Listed below is a complete listing of the 2007 Formula One calendar.
Australia – Albert Park – March 18th
Malaysia – Sepang – April 8th
Bahrain – Sakhir – April 15th
Spain – Catalunya – May 13th
Monaco – Monte Carlo – May 27th
Canada – Montreal – June 10th
United States – Indianapolis – June 17th
France – Magny Cours – July 1st
United Kingdom – Silverstone – July 8th
Germany – Nurburgring – July 22nd
Hungary – Hungaroring – August 5th
Turkey – Istanbul – August 26th
Italy – Monza – September 9th
Belgium – Spa Francorchamps – September 16th
China – Shanghai – September 30th
Japan – Fuji – October 7th
Brazil – Interlagos – October 21st