The FIA released its final version of the 2012 Formula1 Season Calendar. Their final version confirmed two expectations:
- 20 races could become the norm going forward
- Turkish GP would be dropped from 2012
Next season’s calendar (2012 F1 calendar) also confirms that the 2012 Formula1 season will be the longest ever in the history of the sport. The season would start in Australia on 18th March and end in Brazil on 25th November, stretching over 8 months. The actual no. of days in the 2012 Formula1 season will be 257, and this doesn’t include the pre-season and the young driver’s tests, which would be another 15 odd days.
A few thoughts on the 2012 F1 calendar:
– The Turkish GP is off the calendar and will be replaced by the Austin GP. This move was expected since Turkey has been unable to attract spectators to their annual F1 GP. The Turkish GP will be missed, especially for its famous Turn 8. Personally I have good memories of the Turkish GP venue, since this was where I made my first ever trip to the F1 Paddock.
– The Bahrain GP is back on the calendar and will be the fourth race of the season after China. Hopefully this time the GP will go as planned.
– Post Bahrain, the teams will have a three week break, where it is assumed that in-season testing will be conducted. Currently, in-season testing is banned, but there are talks of holding one in-season test starting next season. For 2012, in-season testing is being planned in the months of April – May and the venue currently being discussed is the Ferrari owned track, Mugello. (My thoughts on the proposed in-season testing will follow soon)
– Formula1’s main market of Europe will now host 8 races, followed by Asia which will also host 8 races. There will be 2 races in North America, 1 in South America and 1 in Australia.
– If you are wondering that with an equal no. of races as 2011, why is the 2012 F1 season stretched for such a long duration, the answers are:
- A three week provision for in-season testing between Bahrain and Spain
- Next year’s August break is five weeks, as against the four weeks this year
– There will be six back-to-back races next year: (Read post: Why Back To Back Grand Prix Weekends Are Fun)
- Australia and Malaysia (March)
- China and Bahrain (April)
- Germany and Hungary (July)
- Belgium and Italy (September)
- Japan and Korea (October)
- USA and Brazil (November)
– For the Indian F1 fans, next year’s Airtel Indian Grand Prix will be held in the last weekend of October yet again. Initially there were plans to host the Indian GP in the month of April.
– The United States Grand Prix will debut at the Circuit of the Americas track in Austin next year. This race will be the penultimate round of next year’s calendar.
The 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship Calendar:
While we’re already talking of the 2012 Formula1 season, if you are still wondering what seats to buy for the Indian Grand Prix, please read the following post: Airtel Indian Grand Prix: Which Stand Is The Best?