2008 F1 calendar ‘more credible’ than 20 years ago?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring, start, 2007 | Ferrari MediaI wrote at length about a revealing interview Max Mosley gave recently in which he made this remark:

It’s a far more credible championship [calendar] than it was 20 years ago.

That’s Mosley’s verdict on the modern Formula 1 calendar. Have a look at how the 2008 F1 calendar compares with the 1988 schedule and tell me what you think…

2008 F1 calendar

16th March – Australian Grand Prix – Albert Park, Mebourne
23rd March – Malaysian Grand Prix – Sepang International Circuit
6th April – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir
27th April – Spanish Grand Prix – Montmelo, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
11th May – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park
25th May – Monaco Grand Prix – Monte-Carlo
8th June – Canadian Grand Prix – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal
22nd June – French Grand Prix – Circuit de Nevers, Magny-Cours
6th July – British Grand Prix – Silverstone
20th July – German Grand Prix – Hockenheimring
3rd August – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring
24th August – European Grand Prix – Valencia Street Circuit
7th September – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps
14th September – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza
28th September – Singaporean Grand Prix – Singapore Street Circuit (night race)
12th October – Japanese Grand Prix – Fuji Speedway
19th October – Chinese Grand Prix – Shanghai International Circuit
2nd November – Brazilian Grand Prix – Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Interlagos, Sao Paulo

1988 F1 calendar

3rd April – Brazilian Grand Prix, Jacarepagua
1st May – San Marino Grand Prix, Imola
15th May – Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo
29th May – Mexican Grand Prix, Aut???dromo Hermanos Rodr??guez
12th June – Canadian Grand Prix, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
19th June – United States Grand Prix, Detroit
3rd July – French Grand Prix, Paul Ricard
10th July – British Grand Prix, Silverstone
24th July – German Grand Prix, Hockenheimring
7th August – Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring
28th August – Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps
11th September – Italian Grand Prix, Monza
25th September – Portuguese Grand Prix, Estoril
2nd October – Spanish Grand Prix, Jerez
30th October – Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka
13th November – Australian Grand Prix, Adelaide

Mosley does have a point when he says that the calendar has a slightly better geographical spread today than 20 years ago.

But look at two of the events missing from the modern calendar – the United States Grand Prix and the Mexican Grand Prix – events in two countries rich in motor racing heritage.

In their place we have events like the Bahrain Grand Prix – held on a glorified kart track in a desert with virtually no crowd. In China, another country with virtually no motor racing tradition, the enormous and soulless Shanghai International Circuit greets the teams.

I’m broadly positive about the new additions to the 2008 calendar. I think F1 needs more variety and the addition of extra street tracks will bring that, and the locations look fantastic. The Abu Dhabi circuit planned for 2009 looks even more special

But Bernie Ecclestone’s approach is always to pick the low-hanging fruit – grabbing fistfuls of cash from countries where the representatives of the people are not as democratically inclined as they might be. I’d rather see him invest some of his time into bringing back races in some of the world’s great motor racing countries – and that means the Americas: the United States, Mexico, and Argentina.

How do you think the 2008 F1 calendar could be improved?

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