2009 F1 calendar will end in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, Interlagos, 2007, 3, 470150

Update: the official 2009 F1 calendar has now been published.

Brazil’s Grand Prix circuit Interlagos may have had its contract extended to 2015, but next year it will lose the role of season finale it has held (with one exception) since 2004.

From 2009 F1’s last race will be at the new venue of Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The circuit (you can see a diagram and recent photographs from the construction site here) will be a unique ‘hybrid’ street and permanent road course with a mix of quick bends, angular street track corners and typical Hermann Tilke long-straight-into-hairpin combos.

Here’s how next year’s calendar might look:

It’s unusual for a new circuit on the calendar to be introduced as the last race of the season, but not unheard of. It last happened on two consecutive years, 1984-5, when Estoril, Portugal and Adelaide, Australia respectively joined the calendar. Alain Prost won the former (losing the championship to Niki Lauda in the process) and Keke Rosberg (father of Nico) the latter, the final Grand Prix victory for the 1982 world champion.

The race will be sponsored by Etihad Airways, former title sponsor of Spyker whose logos now appear on the rear wings of the Ferraris. The venue will also have a Ferrari Theme Park with roller coasters, karts, rally cars and other attractions.

With the United States Grand Prix tipped to make a return (providing a sponsor is found) the 2009 F1 calendar could have up to 20 races.

Rnd Event Circuit
1 Australian Grand Prix Albert Park, Mebourne
2 Malaysian Grand Prix Sepang International Circuit (night race?)
3 Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir
4 Spanish Grand Prix Montmelo, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
5 Turkish Grand Prix Istanbul Park
6 Monaco Grand Prix Monte-Carlo
7 Canadian Grand Prix Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal
8 United States Grand Prix Indanapolis Motor Speedway
9 French Grand Prix Magny-Cours or Paris?
10 British Grand Prix Silverstone
11 German Grand Prix* Nurburgring
12 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring
13 European Grand Prix Valencia Street Circuit
14 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps
15 Italian Grand Prix Autodromo Nazionale Monza
16 Singapore Grand Prix Singapore Street Circuit (night race)
17 Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka**
18 Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International Circuit
19 Brazilian Grand Prix Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Interlagos, Sao Paulo
20 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Island

*The German round of the championship is alternating between the Nurburgring and Hockenheimring. However the Hockenheimring owners have so far refused to share the title of ‘German Grand Prix’ with the Nurburgring owners. Last year they got around this by calling the Nurburgring race the ‘European’ Grand Prix. However with the new Valencia street circuit holding that title it will not be an option in 2009. If the conflict is not resolved, the title of ‘Luxembourg Grand Prix’, used for races at the Nurburgring in 1997 and 1998, could be revived.

**The Japanese Grand Prix is alternating between Fuji Speedway and Suzuka Circuit.

Read the latest developments on the future calendar

Keep track of all the test sessions, car launches races and more in 2008 and beyond with the F1Fanatic.co.uk Formula 1 calendar for Google Calendar:

2009 F1 season

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26 comments on 2009 F1 calendar will end in Abu Dhabi

  1. Steven Roy said on 30th March 2008, 16:45

    I would love to know why there are now so many anti-clockwise circuits.  There is absolutely no reason why the couldn’t have built a track that runs in the right direction.

  2. Pink Peril said on 30th March 2008, 23:42

    Well, I for one would like to see races ‘grouped’ so that the fan who makes a holiday specifically geared towards attending rounds can then go to a couple.
    Ie Singapore & Sepang, Indy & Montreal, Bahrain & Abu Dhabi. Not to mention that the logistics of freighting the cars etc would be cheaper and easier (and more environmentally friendly) if they went to the next regional track instead of to & from Europe all the time.

    It is a huge expense to attend a race if you don’t happen to live in a host city and many fans would like to make the trip well worthwhile by attending more than one GP.
    You know – fans? People who don’t really seem to count to Bernie……

  3. Daniel said on 31st March 2008, 0:16

    Pink Peril: you’re damn right! And, why not São Paulo grouped with Buenos Aires’ return to the calendar? Unfortunately it’s highly unlikely…

  4. MJM said on 6th April 2008, 11:02

    Abu Dhabi is not a dry country, there are bars in virtually all the hotels.
    Due to the temperatures in summer the race would have to be very early or very late in the year. Judging by current construction progress, the track won’t be ready until late 2009 which seems to be the reason that it is penciled in for the final race.

  5. Nick said on 18th June 2008, 5:37

    I’m pretty confident that the Abu Dhabi track will be really good. The UAE has really transformed itself, you can see the amount of construction thats happening in Dubai! Today Dubai boasts of a city better than any in the West. I dont think we’ll see any empty stands, there will be alot of people from India too who are huge F1 fans and a trip to the UAE (2 hour flight) will ensure that its a huge success.

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