The UBS Chinese Grand Prix is the third race of the F1 Championship season. It consists of 56 laps of 5.451 km, totalling 305.066 km. The lap record for the race was set in 2004 by Michael Schumacher at 1:32.238. Practice sessions will be on Friday and Saturday, with qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
Date: 15 April 2012
Venue: Shanghai International Circuit
The second race on the F1 calendar, Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix covers a distance of 310.408 km around Sepang International Circuit. The current lap record is held by JP Montoya who set the record at 1:34.223 in 2004. Will it be broken this year?
Practice begins at 10:00 on Friday, 23 March; with Qualifying starting at 16:00 on Saturday, 24 March.
Date: 25 March 2012
Venue: Sepang International Circuit
The 2012 Formula One season kicks off with the Australian Grand Prix on 18 March. Practice sessions begin on Friday, 16 March. This is followed by the Qualifying round on Saturday, 17 March. The race consists of 58 laps around a 5.303 km circuit, totalling 307.574 km.
Date: 18 March 2012
Venue: Albert Park
The prestigious Autosport Awards are held annually in December at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Autosport readers vote for the winners, and the gala event is attended by prominent celebrities in the auto racing world. The 2011 event took place on Sunday 4 December, with Sebastian Vettel being awarded the title of International Racing Driver of the year for the second time in a row, making history for setting a new record of fifteen pole-positions during the season, as well as for being the youngest double Formula 1 champion.
At 24-years of age, Sebastian Vettel has shown remarkable talent and endurance on the racetrack. He flew in from Germany for the Autosport Awards, expressing his appreciation for the acknowledgement of his achievements. Following his 2010 victory, Vettel began the 2011 season as a favorite to win. After winning the opening Australian Grand Prix from pole position, fans were assured of an exciting season ahead – and were not disappointed, as Vettel finished the season with 392 points, being a full 122 points ahead of second-place winner, Jenson Button. Other award winners of the season included Alex Lynn as British Club Driver of the Year; Matt Neal as National Driver of the Year; Paul di Resta as Rookie of the Year; Sebastien Loeb as Rally Driver of the Year; and Jenson Button as British Competition Driver of the Year.
Because they are in the public eye, auto racing drivers garner plenty of attention, but there is a whole lot going on behind the scenes, and the Autosport Awards gives due recognition to these vital elements of the sport. Founder of Dallara Automobili, engineer Gian Paolo Dallara, was chosen to receive the John Bolster Award in recognition of his achievements in the sport. Dallara has a long history in the auto racing industry, having been a designer at Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini before founding his own design company and becoming one of the top designers in this field.
The Autosport Pioneering and Innovation Award was presented to Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Weeks for their movie tribute to Brazilian driver, Ayrton Senna. Entitled Senna the film has received critical acclaim as having revealed the human element behind the sport through the life story of the three-time F1 Champion who was killed at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994.
As the 2011 racing season has drawn to a close, plans for 2012 are already underway, with the strong possibility of many changes in Formula 1 racing venues and the assurance of plenty of action in the New Year.
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.