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Thoughts on the new F1 calendar

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Thoughts on the new F1 calendar
Dec 11, 2009, 5:26 PM

The calendar for the first F1 season of the new decade has been confirmed today by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council.

The calendar for the first F1 season of the new decade has been confirmed today by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council. It features 19 events and runs for exactly eight months from 14 March to 14 November, the latest finish to a season for a long time.

Abu Dhabi is the last race again (Darren Heath)

The major change from the previous version of the calendar is that Abu Dhabi has got back its slot as the final race, swapping places with Brazil, which had the last event on the provisional calendar. This is an important victory for the Abu Dhabi organisers as it gives the event a longer life; fans as well as F1 people stay around after the event, make a holiday of the event, use the new facilities such as the Ferrari World roller coaster, which will be built by next year. It greatly increases their financial yield from the event.

Valencia moves to June, just before Silverstone. It has been a poorly attended event in its August slot as many local people are on holiday. The downside of the move is that it now falls just seven weeks after Barcelona. As the circuit is just four hours south of Barcelona this will mean competition for ticket sales in a country still suffering from recession. But the prospect of Fernando Alonso in a Ferrari is considered sufficient box office draw.

Korea is on the calendar, subject to the circuit being homologated. This is standard practice for a new circuit. A representative of the Korean organisers, Kevin Lee was at the Business Forum in Monaco this week and said that the venue would be ready a few months before the event.

"It is totally on plan," he said. "We have a plan to finish the whole construction work at the circuit on July 5 next year, and up until now it is roughly 60 per cent done. It is really fine."

There are four back to back pairs of races, and some surprising ones; Brazil is paired with Abu Dhabi, which will be logistically interesting and Spain is paired with Monaco. Conversely Singapore and Japan are no longer a pair, so the Far East leg at the end of the season is now spread out with five weeks away from home for the teams.

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone marks the exact turning point of the season, the tenth round of 19.

2010 FIA Formula One World Championship

14/3 BHR Bahrain

28/3 AUS Australia

4/4 MYS Malaysia

18/4 CHN China

9/5 ESP Spain

16/5 MCO Monaco

30/5 TUR Turkey

13/6 CAN Canada

27/6 ESP Europe (Valencia)

11/7 GBR Great Britain

25/7 DEU Germany

1/8 HUN Hungary

29/8 BEL Belgium

12/9 ITA Italy

26/9 SGP Singapore

10/10 JPN Japan

24/10 KOR Korea*

7/11 BRA Brazil

14/11 ARE Abu Dhabi

*Subject to the homologation of the circuit.

Note: The races in Australia and Abu Dhabi will start at 1700 local time, in Malaysia at 1600 local time, in Canada at 1200 local time, in Singapore at 2000 local time, and in Japan at 1500 local time.
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