2009 F1 calendar: better than ’08? (Poll)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 gains Suzuka (above) but loses Montreal in 2009
F1 gains Suzuka (above) but loses Montreal in 2009

The official 2009 F1 calendar has been published with the Canadian Grand Prix mysteriously absent. That?s not the only change for next year, with Abu Dhabi arriving on the calendar as the new season finale.

Has the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone done a better job with the 2009 F1 calendar than the 2008 schedule? Compare the two and cast your vote below.

The major changes between the two calendars are:

Round 2008 race 2009 race
1 Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne
2 Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang
3 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir
4 Spanish Grand Prix, Circuit de Catalunya Spanish Grand Prix, Circuit de Catalunya
5 Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo
6 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul
7 Canadian Grand prix, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve British Grand Prix, Silverstone
8 French Grand Prix, Magny-Cours French Grand Prix, Magny-Cours
9 British Grand Prix, Silverstone German Grand Prix*, Nurburgring
10 German Grand Prix, Hockenheimring Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring
11 Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring European Grand Prix**, Valencia
12 European Grand Prix, Valencia Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps
13 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps Italian Grand Prix, Monza
14 Italian Grand Prix, Monza Singapore Grand Prix, Singapore
15 Singapore Grand Prix, Singapore Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka
16 Japanese Grand Prix, Fuji Speedway Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai
17 Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos
18 Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Island

*Exact title TBC. The Hockenheimring owners won’t allow the Nurburgring to use the title ‘German Grand Prix’.
**Exact title TBC. May use the title ‘Mediterranean Grand Prix’ so the Nurburgring can be the ‘European Grand Prix’.

Is the 2009 F1 calendar better than the 2008 F1 calendar?

  • Yes, the 2009 F1 calendar is much better (5%)
  • Yes, the 2009 F1 calendar is slightly better (12%)
  • They are just as good/bad as each other (25%)
  • No, the 2008 F1 calendar is slightly better (23%)
  • No, the 2008 F1 calendar is much better (31%)
  • I have no opinion (5%)

Total Voters: 393

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44 comments on “2009 F1 calendar: better than ’08? (Poll)”

  1. Only my usual questions:
    Why doesn’t the ‘tour’ start at one side of the world and make its way round, country by country, continent by continent in either one direction or the other?
    Why are there 3 and 4 week gaps between some races, with no testing allowed, yet in other places there are back-to-back weekends when surely its just a frantic rush for the teams?
    Why are there some countries allowed 2 races in a season when there are more than enough circuits in the world to fill the calendar? (depending on who is in Bernies Blacklist of course…)
    Have any of the teams worked out it might be easier to have a separate Asian or Middle East (and American when possible) base of operations to provide backup when the teams are away from home? (thats just an extra thought)

  2. Losing Canada is rather sad, for 2009, but gaining Suzuka and another new Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi should make the season worthwile. So I voted that they’re as good/bad as each other.

  3. Why doesn’t the ‘tour’ start at one side of the world and make its way round, country by country, continent by continent in either one direction or the other?

    I thought about that, too. Why not start out in Australia, Malaysia, China, Japan, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, Hungary, Italy, Germany, UK, France, Monaco Spain, Canada, Brazil… or something like that.

    However, I reckon spring/summer/fall would need to be taking into account with the schedule. Imagine racing in Malaysia in monsoon season, or in Abu Dhabi during the summer…

    Why are there some countries allowed 2 races in a season when there are more than enough circuits in the world to fill the calendar?


  4. It’s hard to judge as Fuji hasn’t had a dry race yet and 2009 has a new circuit at Abu Dhabi.
    However, I think losing the Canadian GP is a big no and I prefer the Hockenheimring to the new short Nurburgring.
    So I went for 2008 is slightly better.

  5. Why are there 3 and 4 week gaps between some races, with no testing allowed

    to allow the mechanics, lollipop people and traffic light systems a break to rest and do things like see family’s, or in the case of traffic light system hang around british roundabouts to cause congestion.

  6. The one thing I’m most disappointed about is the number of races.

    There is no reason why we can’t have 20 races in a season.

    With the number of suitable tracks available to F1 I can’t see why we have to lose the Canadian GP & can’t have a U.S. GP, it would only add an extra 2 weeks to the calendar.

    Without a North American race (or two) it is not a world championship.

    Other than that I don’t really care what order the races are in as long as they’re on TV.

  7. Why aren’t Baharin and Abu Dhabi together? Won’t that save costs?
    Last 3 races : China, Brazil, Abu Dhabi ! ! That is absolute madness.. 4 weeks; the teams will be almost making a full circle around the globe, How much of fuel waste is this ? ?

    About the tracks; I guess with 2009 regulations; following cars along long and fast corners is going to be easier. So, Nurburgring, Suzuka will make for interesting races. Even Barcelona should be better than last 2 years.

  8. my opinon is that the races should be bunched up together, sucha s bahrain and Abu Dhabi they should run either back to back or a week apart. they can drive or ship the equipment over.

    and countries shouldnt have two GP’s thinking that some countries have amazing tracks, but dont have GP’s.

    and it’s a shame about CAnada, i wouldnt want to imagine what the guy went through when he read it in the paper. what? how? why? Bernieeeeeeeeeeeeeee uuuuuuuuu Cre…….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    what a weazel this bernie, but i guess he’s the #1 character in F1, shame the drivers’ are uneventful.

  9. I think they’re both equally as bad as each other. The loss of Canada is made up for slightly by a return to Suzuka.

  10. Why doesn’t the ‘tour’ start at one side of the world and make its way round, country by country, continent by continent in either one direction or the other?

    I thought about that, too. Why not start out in Australia, Malaysia, China, Japan, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, Hungary, Italy, Germany, UK, France, Monaco Spain, Canada, Brazil… or something like that.

    The reason they keep the races apart is because if they’re too close to each other, only one race will have good track attendance – the other track will have to suffer since most people can’t afford attending 2 GPs in succession. And FOM like their income…

    This usually happens for places that have small populations in the area, like Bahrain-Abu Dhabi, and Sepang-Singapore in the current calendar, as well as Imola-Monza, Silverstone-Brands Hatch, and Long Beach-Watkins Glen in the past. This could also be one of the reasons why Buenos Aires flopped in the 1990s: it was just too close to Interlagos on the calendar.

    On the other hand, races with bigger populations, like Detroit-Montreal-Mexico in the late 1980s, and Shanghai-Fuji/Suzuka in the current calendar, can stick together.

  11. I reckon what happened is that the teams put a lot of pressure on Bernie to cut down the number of races, and Bernie had already promised (or been lured into with big $ signs in his eyes) Abu Dhabi. So, the trade off was Canada. What a waste – prob my fave track!

  12. Hey guys, there’s a phantom grand prix(the 10th), so still there’s room for the Canadian Grand Prix.

    Just kidding. There are two 7th rounds and no 10th in the listing…

  13. I like the short Nurburgring better than the short Hockenheimring, it just eats me up every time how they butchered that lovely track. I think Suzuka is much better than Fuji, which only has rain and the view. Dropping Canada is a real shame though, so I voted 2008 slightly better.

  14. there is one thing I don’t understand, the race in Valencia wass very boring. the canadian grand prix had lots of spectacular moments…

    there watched more people to the canadian grand prix than the GP in valencia…
    that means more money for ecclestone at the canadian grand prix than in valencia.

    why then is valencia on the calender and canada isn’t?
    less earnings, and a more boring race. that is a move I don’t understand

  15. Journeyman.

    I agree with you, however, alot more could be done to condense the season in terms of back to back races. Pair up races where the demand is greater, rather than in poorer venues where the population are worse off.
    But, may I remind you, we have just lost two of the biggest races in terms of support and attendance. Montreal and Indianapolis.
    May I also remind everybody, that both races sold far more tickets than Bahrain or Sepang for example, two venues that are still on the 2009 calender.

  16. Samuel – Fixed, thanks.

  17. 2008 is slightly better, solely because of two totally new circuits versus only one in 2009 and the season finale being in brazil rather than abu dhabi.

    i’m not sure how having the finale at a new circuit is going to play. i think it should always be at an established, historic track.

  18. I agree, and I think Interlagos is a great place to finish the season – the atmosphere is something else.

  19. Keith,

    is the reason for scrapping Montreal mainly the issues w/ the asphalt/marbles ? That is, the Canadians had at least a year to do something about it and it was actually worse this year than last, to the point that several drivers suggested it was unsafe to drive. It was bad also in ’06, when I was there, Especially the final turn before the finish straight was horrible, w/ marbles all over the place. What do you think ?

  20. Valencia, Singapore, Monaco, and Hungary are not “raceable”; no USGP, no Candian GP, and the last race is at Abu Dhabi? How can anyone think this schedule is better than last year?? And wait until 2010 when Silverstone is replaced!

  21. Montreal should stay. there’s a lot of f1 fans here in Canada.

  22. Popular circuits seem to have a habit of being axed. But one thing I’d love to know. How come the Hungarian Grand Prix continues to survive?

  23. @ TMFOX – because Hungarian government continues to pay probably …

    bring Canada back !

  24. This is an interesting article about the Canadian Grand Prix. It states that even the organizers of the race had no clue it happened and that they found out from the media.


  25. David Watkins
    8th October 2008, 19:29

    Too early to tell yet but it’s a hell of a risk to put a new track as the last race.

    Why couldn’t they just put Bahrein and Abu Dhabi on consecutive weekends?

    I thought F1 was supposed to be “going green”

  26. @David Watkins
    Yeah, but I guess only as far as tyre grooves are concerned ;D

  27. In my humble perspective, 2008 was a major step down for the calendar after the hostile forceout of the USGP, but 2009 sees Bernie, Max and the entire F1 hierarchy step down to a new level with the loss of Canada- for the first time since the 1960’s, we will see not even one GP in North America. After what was a very successful doubleheader package, we are now seeing one of the world’s most important markets- a place vital to the success of the teams that race in the sport- with no representation.

    I could carry on about the loss of Indy and Montreal for a decade or so, but looking at the excellent point many of you make regarding Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, to the sensable people the post on this blog it makes absolute sense to pair up these two races on a flyaway. However, both of these places are unique because, while Bernie often has to wrestle with promoters over how much they will pay him, both of the Middle Eastern stops will line up and bow down to do whatever he asks- indeed they would probably pay even more than he asks in order to get F1 in their nations. So, Bernie sees this as an opportunity to have two seperate circuses in the Middle East each year and use each in a friendly rivalry of sorts, rather than do the sensable thing and pair both up on a flyaway.

    As for Suzuka, I am very happy to see it back and am looking forward to seeing the race on TV. However, 2009 is simply a worse calendar than 2008, which was already lacking. Therefore I vote that 2008 was slightly better because at least Canada was there, but as long as F1 continues to move away from Europe and North America, it keeps getting worse.

  28. TMFOX – To be fair to the Hungarian GP, it’s got a habit of chucking up some ridiculous races.

  29. I never get why they bother doing the non-european races in such an illogical order. Surely, as suggested by some people it would be easier to start at one side of the world and move round, they seem to keep all the european raves together but the others are just randomly scattered.

    Anyway, I voted 2009 slightly better than 2008 because I am feeling optimistic about it.

  30. Canada is a sad loss….But don’t worry, Britain, France, Belgium will soon follow……..

  31. In fact, if you start from west coast America, you’ll notice that as you go eastwards, a grand prix will disappear from the calendar year after year………..

  32. David Gleeson
    9th October 2008, 1:25

    I guess that logistically and money spent that it really doesn’t matter where the next race is.

    Used/broken equipment needs to be sent back to base, new equipment needs to be assembled and sent to the new race track. So here there is no savings to cost.

    With the cost of hotels (they could put them in backpackers hostels) for the extra days, penalty rates (away from home living), food costs, entertainment costs. The costs would be very close to the flight home and the flight to the next race.

    Added bonus is that people see home and family.
    They can have meetings with all stakeholders.

    And anyway, the crew is not paid to have a couple of days off.

  33. “World Championship” and the series comes to North America. . .um, not at all, and only once to this hemisphere. One of the things that makes this circuit so cool is the fact that they go everywhere, but alas, not anymore.

  34. So if Cananda is due to the track surface and marbles problems, are there any other competing circuits trying to swipe the Canadian GP for 2010?

    Mosport perhaps? Or is this another “Not up to scratch for Bernie” track?

  35. no problem as long as we have F1 race next year
    cheers for that

  36. Losing Canada is really big shame – it was perhaps the one circuit on the calendar that would guarantee close racing and over-taking.

    That said, Suzuka is a far better circuit than Fuji, and the Abu Dhabi circuit looks promising.

    I’d like to get rid of Magny Cours, Valencia, Hungary and Barcelona, and (to make a true world championship) races at Watkins Glen, Estoril, Kyalami and Long Beach.

  37. A true World Championship should have races no at least 5 of 6 continents (being North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania), and since Africa doesn’t have a race, there should be a North American one. And then I’m not even considering that the US are a top market for all manufacturers in F1 apart from Renault.

  38. The teams are trying to get Canada back on the schedule: story.

  39. Hey Journeyer, Long Beach and Watkins Glen are on opposite coasts of America. There is probably more distance between them than Silverstone and Monza. ;)

    I’m not too impressed with the calendar. I like Suzaka better than Fuji, but am depressed about the loss of Canada.

  40. Suzuka is infinitely better than Fuji and can make for a very interesting race, given the overtaking opportunities (recall Kimi won there in ’05 from 18th on the grid). Montreal is a tough circuit, but they need to address the surface issues they have had for the last 3-4 years. If they don’t, they deserve to lose the race.

  41. I already had several issues with the 2009 calendar – season opener starts 2 weeks later than usual, finishing in Abu who?-bi instead of Brazil, two boring races in Spain.

    But the loss of Montreal just takes the biscuit.

    Not happy Jan.

  42. Lustigson, very good points and you are indeed correct about the need to race on all the continents. You are also correct that Renault dose not deal here by name, but they do have a major market stake in the U.S. and Canada with Nissan, so even they have a say about losing Canada and the U.S. in the last two years.

  43. I imagine most of us follow F1 on TV. Sad that some of the new venues have the visual appeal of a post apocalyptic wasteland devoid of humanity.
    I fear following the loot rather than the fans will be the sport’s undoing.
    No Canadian GP = Bloody Ridiculous
    Abu where?

  44. Man, first they can the U.S. GP and now that I live on the east coast and have the potential of going to montreal to see the GP they get rid of that too! I bet if I end up doing my PhD in england they get rid of that race as well. =(

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