As the kick-off event of the 2013 Formula 1 Grand Prix Season, the Australian Grand Prix will take place over a distance of 307.574 km, being 58 laps on the 5.303 km circuit. Friday features the first and second practice session at 12:30 and 16:30 respectively, with the third practice session and qualifying round taking place on Saturday March 16. The race starts at 17:00 on Sunday March 17, 2013. For more information visit www.formula1.com
Dates: 15-17 March 2013
Venue: Albert Park Circuit
As the penultimate race in the 2012 Formula 1 Series, the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix will take place on 18 November 2012. Friday’s schedule include the first practice session at 9am with the second practice session taking place at 1pm. Saturday’s schedule includes the third practice session at 9am, with the qualifying session taking place at midday. For more information visit www.formula1.com
Date: 16 November 2012
Venue: Circuit of the Americas
Country: United States
A festive atmosphere prevailed at India’s new Buddh International Circuit for the inaugural Formula One race held there on Sunday. Drivers were lavish in in their praise for the smooth and fast new course, and random interviews among the crowd confirmed the day to be a total success. With a crowd of more than 90,000 spectators giving the track their undivided attention, Sebastian Vettel of Team Red Bull took the checkered flag – once again. As his 11th win of the 2011 Formula One season, his 35th podium finish and 21st career Formula One win, it seems that nothing can stop the celebrated German driver as he claimed all the first of the day – pole position, fastest lap, lap leader and first place.
With the Buddh International Circuit meeting the stringent requirements set out by the FIS, offering world-class facilities for competitors and spectators, organizers, Jaypee Group, are looking to the future and promoting auto racing as a sport in India. They will also be looking at other options to monetize the new sports venue. One of the options in the pipeline for the Buddh International Circuit is a Mercedes-sponsored academy to train potential F1 drivers. Mercedes will also be considering co-hosting auto racing events on a revenue-sharing basis with Jaypee Sports. Mercedes completed the Indian Grand Prix in fifth and sixth places, expressing their satisfaction with the result. Michael Schumacher moved from eleventh on the grid to finish one spot ahead of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who had started the rate from seventh on the grid.
Jaypee also hopes to attract the wealthy class in India, many of whom have more than a passing interest in sports cars, by offering special memberships at the Buddh International Circuit. Auto racing fans who become members of this exclusive club will have secure parking at the track for their racing cars. Riding high on the success of the inaugural Formula One race, the organizers plan to recoup their costs of building the circuit, and break even within three years.
Race winner, Sebastian Vettel, made no secret of the fact that he was very impressed with India, not only as hosts of the prestigious race, but as a country and a nation, noting that he found the time he spent in the country to be inspiring. Judging from the success of the event, India is likely to be a permanent fixture on future Formula One Championship calendars.
Canadian Robert Wickens may not have finished the race in Barcelona on Sunday, but he nevertheless won the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship on points. Starting the last race of the season with a nine-point lead over Jean Eric Vergne of France, it initially appeared that Wickens may have lost the title due to an accident on the first lap with his Carlin Motorsports teammate. Vergne had tried to pass Wickens on the inside of the track, but his car’s front left wheel made contact with Wickens’ side pod. This incident was followed up at the next corner with the right front of Wickens’ car hitting the left rear of Vergne, breaking Wickens’ steering and putting him out of the race as he collided with Nathanel Berthon.
Vergne tried to continue, but damage to his car’s steering and rear suspension, along with contact by Mofaz racer Fairuz Fauzy, eventually put him out of the race. Vergne would have had to finish fifth or higher in order to take the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship from Wickens, but with both drivers out of the race, the victory went to Wickens.
In an interview following the race, Wickens noted that while it was not how he had wanted to end the day, nor how he expected to be crowned champion, but was nevertheless pleased with the result. He pointed out that he and Vergne had enjoyed being teammates, they had raced hard and fair all year and it was a pity the last race of the season ended with contact at the first corner. He also thanked the Carlin team, describing them as being flawless all year, and thanked Marussia for making his championship win possible.
One of the rewards for winning the Formula Renault 3.5 championship is a half-day of test-driving a Lotus Renault on a full F1 track in Abu Dhabi next month, which Wickens describes as a “fantastic” prize. Having finished second in the 2009 F2 series and second in the GP3 series in 2010, and now claiming the Renault 3.5 championship, as well as being named Marussia Virgin F1 team reserve driver this year, Wickens appears to be well on his way to fulfilling his hopes of becoming the first Canadian driver to achieve in auto racing’s top series since Jacques Villeneuve – the 1997 F1 World Champion.
While the championship results may have outshone the actual victory of the day, it should not be overlooked that Albert Costa of Epic Racing took the checkered flag in Barcelona, having started in pole position, with Wickens second on the grid and Vergne starting from fifth.
F1 fans are eagerly awaiting the 2011 Italian Grand Prix event. Taking place at Autodromo di Monza, the event consists of 53 laps around a circuit of 5.793 km, with a total race distance of 306.720 km. The lap record for this grand prix is 1:21.046, set by R Barrichello in 2004.
Dates: 9 to 11 September 2011
Venue: Autodromo di Monza