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

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

  1. Johnny said on 11th December 2007, 21:36

    I think Barcelona should be dropped or at least it should alternate with Valencia, Spain does not need 2 races. Bring back a race here in the USA! Also maybe Singapore and Malaysia could rotate and then you could have another round rotate between Argentina and Mexico. I look forward to the Abu Dhabi race and I am curious to see what will happen in SK and India, but all I really want is a race in the USA so I at least have an opportunity to go to a race.

  2. c’mon people… who wants to see max mosley leave? or get sacked?(that will never happen)

  3. Could you fix the typo? Australian grand prix is “Melbourne” not “Mebourne” :)

  4. powerline2007 said on 12th December 2007, 1:28

    The FIA is allowing night racing in Singapore without even performing a test-run. I think the FIA is putting money, politics & profits above the safety of F1 drivers.

  5. Journeyer said on 12th December 2007, 1:41

    I’m sure there will be some test runs a few months before the race, albeit not with F1 cars, more probably with cars whose headlights are turned off.

    I know a lot of Singaporeans, they are one of the most meticulous and attention-paying people in the world. I’m sure they won’t let the night GP go through if they see any hint of trouble with their lightings.

  6. Nathan Jones said on 12th December 2007, 1:45

    the thing is these days, if one country struggles to pay for a race, no matter how prestigous it is, bernie will just give it to a new venue!
    for a sport with such a long history, they tend to ignore the past a great deal, they care more for money than anything else to the detriment of the hardcore fan who often misses out yet the corporate who only goes to see how pissed he can get, gets the better view points etc and meet the drivers yet they dont even care in the slightest about the sport, let alone know who the drivers are!

  7. Not every street circuit is as narrow as Monaco (or Macau)… I took a weekend off, went to Singapore 2 weeks ago and walked and took photos of the whole track (except the part that is still a construction site). Yes there are some narrow parts, like the Anderson Bridge, but there are many wide and fast parts of the track and in general that track design seems to provide more racing and overtaking opportunities than many purposely built F1 tracks today.

    Then if you do some research you find out that although long ago, Singapore did host Singapore Grands Prix (60s-70s) although not F1… So it is not like there never has been any race down there. Also note that Singapore is just a short flight from India where the F1 fan base is growing very very quickly…

    Ok,Malaysia can only stay on calendar, because it is a matter of prestige for Malaysian government and they are willing to pay for it. But as for China, the reasons for the race to go there are exactly the same as why the teams want to race in the USA… Yes, it may not be be the most popular sport in China, be it neither is in USA, and all F1 has been trying to do for years is to break in into US market…

    There is no need to slam a new venue just because it is not in Europe or in USA … The historical tracks should survive, I would be sad to see Silverstone, Monza, Monaco, Spa to go. But I would not shed a tear if Hungary or Magny Cours goes if something exciting comes instead and no matter in what part of the world.

    As for the track design – in Zhuhai, China they built the F1 track without Tilke, they even made it to the provisional F1 calendar after Argentina was dropped, only for FIA to find out the track is impossible for F1 to race on … So perhaps when governments now invest so wast sums of money in getting the race, they prefer to play safe and use track designer whos track will get FIA approval :-)

    sorry for so long comment

  8. powerline2007 said on 12th December 2007, 3:57

    Appreciate your inputs guys but I must add that driving an F1 car at top speed at night is quite different from driving a passenger car or a 20 year old GP car. But I suppose we’ll have to wait & see what happens down the road.

  9. I have said this a few times but night racing at full speed no matter how many lights you have – it’s stupid sensationalismn – its enviromentally a disaster – it wont ruin the planet – but – it shows no thought on helping F1 to give a good image about using the earths resources – so much for what max says and does – the costs? – heres something to think on – car loses control due to the driver getting glare in his eyes – spins and flips into the crowd – are max and bernie too blame? – wont happen hopefully – but why race at night anyway – or is it about tv schedules elsewhere ?

  10. powerline2007 said on 12th December 2007, 8:08

    Alan, you’re right. It’s all about TV schedules elsewhere, hence the profits & the money. If someone does get hurt or killed, Max & Bernie won’t be there to take the fall.

  11. PaulRS said on 12th December 2007, 18:30

    Singapore night race, everyone talks about the lights. Bright enough / not bright enough / power failure etc.
    But has anyone mentioned or considered what happens when powerfull lights are turned on in tropical countries? Huge swarms of bugs turn up! Driving through a bug cloud, visors covered with bugs etc could be very dangerous.

  12. powerline2007 said on 13th December 2007, 1:19

    PaulRS, you’re right about the bugs in a tropical country. But Singapore is so developed that it’s a concrete jungle out there. No much space for bugs to breed. But heavy rainfall in a night race can be very dangerous because one cannot see the water or the road very clearly in the F1 car driver position.

  13. Chris The Stewie said on 18th March 2008, 3:19

    Hey why bring back an old track, lets get some new circuits involved, if you haven’t seen Phillip Island in Victoria , Australia, then take a look. This is one of the best if not the best racing circuit on the planet.
    It hosts the Bikes and Super V8′s and gets rave reviews from ALL who have driven on it.
    Forget the old ….. lets get new.

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