A provisional 2009 F1 calendar is expected to be announced tomorrow by Bernie Ecclestone according to Nigel Roebuck.
Among the changes for 2009 will be the first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, announced last year. And on Sunday rumours came to light that Magny-Cours, host of the French Grand Prix, will get a second stay of execution.
Here’s how the 2009 F1 calendar might look:
Possible 2009 F1 calendar
Here’s how next year’s calendar could look – this is purely hypothetical so please don’t go booking time off work and buying plane tickets.
*Monaco is a four-day weekend
**May run under a different name due to contractual dispute
***Alternating each year with Fuji Speedway
The United States Grand Prix apparently has a 50-50 chance of remaining on the calendar, and will be back if a sponsor is found. The United States is the tenth largest television audience for F1, and although Formula 1 is a minority sport in the USA in terms of interest, its importance as a market is gigantic.
It could squeeze back onto the calendar by appearing the week after the Canadian Grand Prix (as it did last year) with the French race moving back a week next to the British race as it has been in the past.
The new Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is apparently going to be in October and likely will not be the season finale. Putting it next to Singapore would make some geographic sense but as India and South Korea arrive in 2010 this end of the calendar will need a serious shake-up.
Changes to Abu Dhabi
Plans for a radical ‘hybrid track’ at Abu Dhabi have been scaled back. The original scheme for a track that was part street circuit, part permanent race course. The street section was to include a dramatic blast along a marina.
According to Autosport “renowned F1 fixer Philippe Gurdjian” has been brought onto the project which suggests they ran into some problems. Gurdjian helped the Bahrainis get their track ready on time in 2004 so the race should be in safe hands.
French Grand Prix to stay?
Bernie Ecclestone said 2007 was going to be the last race at Magny-Cours, and then he said 2008 would as well. Both, it seems, were wrong.
His plans for a Paris Grand Prix street race will have to wait a little longer. There is still little indication the project might become a reality. Rumours are Magny-Cours will stay on the calendar until 2010.
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: