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