Thursday Thoughts – Changing Venues

This weeks Thursday Thoughts comes from the Triple Racing Blog, and he has posed the following question:

What Track or Tracks not on the current F1 season calendar do you want added?  Also, what current tracks need to go.  And finally, if this isn’t enough, how many Grand Prix’s should F1 have? 

F1 2009 - Rd 4 Bahrain GP - Qualifying

The Asian Revolution is happening in Formula 1, every new race is coming from Asia and it is fairly worrying. These new races tend to be dull, with unimaginative circuits and a lack of atmosphere. The so called ‘classics’ are becoming less and less. Is it worrying times?

The main person to blame is seemingly always the designer of these new tracks, Hermann Tilke. He has been involved in every circuit’s design or renovation since 1999. The majority of his circuits are awful in terms of quality, the traditional long straight and tight corner had yet to show any results.

Of the circuits he has designed, I would get rid of a lot of them. Not all of them, you do need some sort of presence in Asia, a growing market for Formula 1. It is logical for the sport to have races in Asia, the only problem is these races produce no quality whatsoever. The Tilke tracks I’d drop from my ideal calendar then:

  • Shanghai, China
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Valencia, Spain
  • Yeongam, South Korea
  • Abu Dhabi, UAE

You may be thinking why I am dropping the South Korea circuit since we have had no races there. There is no need for a race in South Korea, past attempts by Tilke would show the race will be boring and I already have severe doubts the track will be finished in time.

Whilst I’m at it, I feel like throwing out some other circuits I just simply don’t want in F1:

  • Catalunya, Spain
  • Hockenheim, Germany

In all fairness, I do not like the possible option of the alternate races between Hockenheim and the Nurburgring. In my eyes, the Nurburgring wins every time (and Hockenheim is where Timo Glock lost his rear suspension, bad memories). Catalunya is where all the testing takes place.

This leaves thirteen races (swapping Hockenheim for the Nurburgring for the German Grand Prix). I do like the idea of a long season, some don’t, but I do. You simply can’t get enough of Formula 1, especially if it is at good venues. A good total of races per season should be 19.

So where are we going to get these circuits from? With no US race, that seems the first logical move. A return to Indianapolis would seem the logical move. As well as a USGP, another race in the Americas would also help the continent itself. Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was a Formula 1 venue in Mexico from 1963-1992, with a break of a few years in the middle. With a few changes to safety and the layout, I figure it would be a half decent race circuit.

There are now currently no races in Spain, and with two time World Champion Fernando Alonso driving in a Ferrari, I suspect he would not allow that. Oddly, I am going to include a Hermann Tilke circuit, his recently designed Aragon circuit in Alcaniz. It looks quite good and is also the secondary home of USF1. Also across the border, a new race in Portugal is a most, with the beautiful looking Algarve circuit, also a nice place to go on a holiday. It has experience with F1 testing as well as hosting Le Mans Series races.

France has been without a race since 2008 since the Mangy-Cours circuit just simply ran out of money. It would be amazing if there was a race at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit.

That leaves one option left, and despite my objection to Asian circuits, I will allow a street circuit around Beijing, China. A race around the main area of the nation is certain to bring in spectators, which has been lacking from the Chinese Grand Prix.

19 races have been sorted, this is how my season would look like:

Date Circuit Nation
21st March Albert Park Australia
4th April Sepang Malaysia
18th April Sakhir Bahrain
25th April Beijing Street Circuit ** China
9th May Aragon * Spain
16th May Monaco Monaco
30th May Silverstone Britain
13th June Nurburgring Germany
27th June Le Mans Bugatti * France
18th July Hungaroring Hungary
25th July Portimao * Portugal
29th August Spa-Francorchamps Belgium
12th September Monza Italy
26th September Montreal Canada
3rd October Indianapolis * USA
17th October Hermanos Rodriguez Mexico
31st October Marina Bay Singapore
14th November Suzuka Japan
21st November Interlagos Brazil

* – New proposed venue ** – Totally new venue

There are four back to back races (Bahrain-China, Hungary-Portugal, Canada-USA, Japan-Brazil) with two three week long breaks (France-Hungary, Portugal-Belgium). This will help with the breaks and not make everything have so much mayhem. The season starts a week later than the actual calendar and finishes a week later as well.

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Posted on January 28, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. i approve of starting a week later and ending a week later.

  2. I vote to bring back Imola. Get rid of Sakhir, although I agree the middle east needs some representation on the calendar but i’m talking purely exciting tracks.

    • Imola is a good shout. I said somewhere else that I remember it being renovated but I don’t know if it has been finished or not. Not sure if it is Grade I standard either?

      Whilst I do agree on purely exciting tracks, I would not mind one race which is a bit dull. At the moment its the only decent one in that part of the world.

      • Imola has reopened and holds touring car and superbike races, I don’t think F1 cars are suitable for it though which is a shame because it is a great place.

  3. Ahh I forgot about Aragon, that’s a good pick. I wouldn’t go to LM Bugatti but otherwise a very interesting calendar.

  4. Great suggestions.

    One thing to note: A1GP once had a street race around Beijing; it was badly organised and was a terrible circuit. So that’s the only addition I would disagree with…

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