F1 Tracks, Prix, and Tyres: 2009 Season Under Way

Joe LaflecheCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2009

Well, It's been a while since the announcement of the 2009 F1 season, and its far overdue to think about the tracks that were changed up since last year. For anyone who dosen't remember, here is the 2009 list: (taken from wikipedia)

1Flag of Australia ING Australian Grand PrixAustralian GPMelbourne Grand Prix CircuitMelbourne, Victoria29 March17:0006:0058
2Flag of Malaysia Petronas Malaysian Grand PrixMalaysian GPSepang International CircuitKuala Lumpur5 April17:0009:0056
3Flag of the People's Republic of China Chinese Grand PrixChinese GPShanghai International CircuitShanghai19 April15:0007:0056
4Flag of Bahrain Gulf Air Bahrain Grand PrixBahrain GPBahrain International CircuitSakhir, Manama26 April15:0012:0057
5Flag of Spain Gran Premio de España TelefónicaSpanish GPCircuit de CatalunyaBarcelona10 May14:0012:0066
6Flag of Monaco Grand Prix de MonacoMonaco GPCircuit de MonacoMonte Carlo24 May14:0012:0078
7Flag of Turkey ING Turkish Grand PrixTurkish GPIstanbul ParkIstanbul7 June15:0012:0058
8Flag of the United Kingdom Santander British Grand PrixBritish GPSilverstone CircuitSilverstone21 June13:0012:0060
9Flag of Germany Großer Preis Santander von DeutschlandGerman GP*NürburgringNürburg12 July14:0012:0060
10Flag of Hungary ING Magyar NagydíjHungarian GPHungaroringBudapest26 July14:0012:0070
11Flag of Spain Telefónica Grand Prix of EuropeEuropean GP*Valencia Street CircuitValencia23 August14:0012:0057
12Flag of Belgium ING Belgian Grand PrixBelgian GPCircuit de Spa-FrancorchampsSpa30 August14:0012:0044
13Flag of Italy Gran Premio Santander d'ItaliaItalian GPAutodromo Nazionale MonzaMonza13 September14:0012:0053
14Flag of Singapore SingTel Singapore Grand PrixSingapore GPMarina Bay Street CircuitSingapore27 September20:0012:0061
15Flag of Japan Fuji Television Japanese Grand PrixJapanese GPSuzuka CircuitSuzuka4 October14:0005:0053
16Flag of Brazil Grande Prêmio do BrasilBrazilian GPAutódromo José Carlos PaceSão Paulo18 October14:0016:0071
17Flag of Abu Dhabi (emirate) Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand PrixAbu Dhabi GPYas Marina CircuitAbu Dhabi1 November15:0011:0055

And here is last year's: (also from wikipedia)

1Flag of Australia ING Australian Grand PrixAustralian GPAlbert Park Grand Prix CircuitMelbourne16 March15:3004:30
2Flag of Malaysia Petronas Malaysian Grand PrixMalaysian GPSepang International CircuitKuala Lumpur23 March15:0007:00
3Flag of Bahrain Gulf Air Bahrain Grand PrixBahrain GPBahrain International CircuitSakhir, Manama6 April14:3011:30
4Flag of Spain Gran Premio de España TelefónicaSpanish GPCircuit de CatalunyaMontmeló27 April14:0012:00
5Flag of Turkey Petrol Ofisi Turkish Grand PrixTurkish GPIstanbul ParkIstanbul11 May15:0012:00
6Flag of Monaco Grand Prix de MonacoMonaco GPCircuit de MonacoMonte-Carlo25 May14:0012:00
7Flag of Canada Grand Prix du CanadaCanadian GPCircuit Gilles VilleneuveMontreal8 June13:0017:00
8Flag of France Grand Prix de FranceFrench GPCircuit de Nevers Magny-CoursMagny Cours22 June14:0012:00
9Flag of the United Kingdom Santander British Grand PrixBritish GPSilverstone CircuitSilverstone6 July13:0012:00
10Flag of Germany Großer Preis Santander von DeutschlandGerman GPHockenheimringHockenheim20 July14:0012:00
11Flag of Hungary ING Magyar NagydíjHungarian GPHungaroringBudapest3 August14:0012:00
12Flag of Spain Telefónica Grand Prix of Europe[76]European GPValencia Street CircuitValencia24 August14:0012:00
13Flag of Belgium ING Belgian Grand PrixBelgian GPCircuit de Spa-FrancorchampsSpa7 September14:0012:00
14Flag of Italy Gran Premio Santander d'ItaliaItalian GPAutodromo Nazionale di MonzaMonza14 September14:0012:00
15Flag of Singapore SingTel Singapore Grand PrixSingapore GPMarina Bay Street CircuitMarina Bay28 September20:0012:00
16Flag of Japan Fuji Television Japanese Grand PrixJapanese GPFuji SpeedwayOyama12 October13:3004:30
17Flag of the People's Republic of China Sinopec Chinese Grand PrixChinese GPShanghai International CircuitShanghai19 October15:0007:00
18Flag of Brazil Grande Prêmio do BrasilBrazilian GPAutódromo José Carlos PaceSão Paulo2 November15:0017:00

Now I'm not going to speculate anything on what tracks and what races to watch for (because honestly I am not comfortable enough with the sport yet considering this is only my second year really watching it) but if you wish to share your idea about that, fell free to leave a note.

What I'm looking at is more what the changes in tracks and Grand Prix and how that could affect F1.  

So here are the ones who got taken out, and their replacements:

Australian GP: switch from the Albert Park Circuit to the Melbourne Circuit

Bahrain GP: Gets pushed to fourth race, same track.

Canadian GP: Is removed from the list completely. The Turkish GP takes it's place as the seventh track

French GP: Like the Canadian GP, it is also removed and is replaced by the British GP as the eighth race

German GP: Track is changed from Hockenheimring track to Nürburgring

Japanese GP: Change of track from the Fuji Speedway to the Suzuka Circuit

Chinese GP: Moved up to third track

Abu Dhabi GP: New circuit to replace the Canadian and French GP's chosen as last race of the season.

Now right from the start, three major changes can be seen. The removal of the Canadian Grand Prix, the drop of the French Grand Prix and the instalment of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 2009 season will be the first time since 1958 that no race will be done in North America. Now according to the FIA, it was dropped for "financial reasons." Whatever this financial problem is, it is most certainly not because of crowd attendance.

The streets of Montréal are crowded for days on with celebrations, parties, people waiting in line for tickets just to find out the seat they want is not available and of course celebrities.

Now it is easy to say that although the Gilles Villeneuve track was getting quite old, the fans would have loved to see the refurbishing of the track to still be able to cheer on their favorite drivers. And of course, it is a huge financial hit to the city and a huge emotional hit on the fans to see it go.

France, country filled with automotive history. Some of the great names of driving, from any type of racing, came from this magnificent country and now, for only the second time since 1950 that there will not be the French Grand Prix. The first was in 1955.

Same as the canadian ones, fans from the four corners of France will miss their beloved French Grand Prix. Besides, with names like Renault, Peugeot and Bugatti calling France their home, it is easy to say that the French racing roots go deep and to pull out this speed demon tree from the soil of the french people leaves a painful and insulting wound.

Even though it was the the organizers of the Grand Prix and not the FIA who removed the track, it is still sad to see it go as well.

And finally, the addition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Now this is potentially a good thing, or potentially a horrible move. Only time will tell.

Plus side: expansion of F1 driving and racing into new, fresh market with a nice new track and nice new feel. In short, a lot of new stuff.

Minus side: It could be too much new. Although a lot of research was done to see if the market is big enough to support the track, the financial situation in that part of the world is, however, a little bit more unstable than other places.

So really, the only way the F1 world will know if it is ready for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is to try it out.

And a little side note, slick tyres are now allowed to be used again. It is the first time since the 1998 season that they will be available.