Practice and qualifying sessions take place on Friday and Saturday (10 and 11 May) with the F1 Grand Prix at 2pm on Sunday 12 May. The current F1 lap record of 1:21.670 at Circuit de Catalunya was set by Kimi Raikkonen in 2008.
Date: 12 May 2013
Venue: Circuit de Catalunya
Starting on Friday 31 August with two practice sessions, followed by the third practice session and qualifying session on Saturday 1 September, the Belgian F1 Grand Prix will take place on Sunday 2 September at 14h00. The race covers a distance of 308.052 kms in 44 laps. The current lap record of 1:45.108 was set by Kimi Raikkonen in 2004.
Date: 2 September 2012
Venue: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
The first and second practice sessions will take place on Friday 20 July, with practice session 3 and qualifying rounds on Saturday. The Formula 1 Grand Prix Santander Germany 2012 will start at 2pm on Sunday 22 July 2012. The race covers a distance of 306.458 km (67 laps x 4.574km). The lap record of 1:13.780 was set in 2004 by Kimi Raikkonen.
Date: 22 July 2012
Time: 2:00 PM
Many NASCAR, Rally and Formula 1 fans were speculating on the future of Kimi Raikkonen, as there were rumors that he might be moving over to NASCAR like his former McLaren team mate, Juan Pablo Montoya. But up until Saturday it was merely stories. On Saturday the formal announcement was made that Kimi Raikkonen had signed with Kyle Busch Motorsports, and confirmed that Raikkonen was leaving rally driving behind to enter the world of NASCAR. It is hoped that Kyle Busch’s NASCAR experience and Raikkonen’s driving talent will be a winning combination for the motorsport team.
Kimi Raikkonen, a Finnish driver nicknamed Iceman, entered the Formula 1 circuit in 2001, and spent nine years in this racing industry, driving for Ferrari, Sauber and McLaren. At the end of 2009, it was announced that Raikkonen would not continue driving for Ferrari in the 2010 season and negotiations with other teams failed. Raikkonen then made the transfer to rally driving in 2010, participating in the World Rally Championship for the Junior Citroën Team. He established his own team, Ice 1 Racing for the 2011 season, and has now officially been contracted by Kyle Busch Motorsports for NASCAR.
He will be making his debut for the team at the Charlotte Motor Speedway where the Trucks Series will be hosted, and will be driving a KMB Toyota Tundra. Raikkonen expressed his excitement in regard to his new venture saying, “Kyle is one of the best in NASCAR, and being able to draw on his knowledge will be a valuable asset as I make my transition to a new form of racing. He has put together an experienced team that builds fast race trucks. I look forward to being a part of a team that has proven to be a winner on and off the race track.”
Jeff Gordon, who has won the NASCAR championship four times, seems excited that yet another Formula 1 driver has made the leap to NASCAR, commenting, “I can’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it when Juan Pablo made that announcement. So many things going through my mind. I think it says a lot about NASCAR that somebody like him is considering coming here. I admire him for wanting to take the step and go Truck racing and not just jump in a Cup car.”
The Malaysian Grand Prix has been part of the Formula One World Championship circuit since 1999. It is currently held at the Sepang International Circuit, situated at Sepang near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The circuit is known for its innovative features and for its temperamental climatic changes. The Sepang International Circuit is 5.54 kilometres (3.44 miles) in length, a distance which is lapped 56 times during the course of the race resulting in an overall race length of 310.41 km (192.88 miles). Out of the first eight Malaysian Grand Prix races which have been held on the track, Ferrari has won the most with four wins.
At the track’s inaugural event the scene was set for a spectacular comeback from Michael Schumacher who was returning to the sport after sustaining a broken leg earlier that year. He dominated the race and at the last moment handed the victory to his teammate Eddie Irvine. The crowds went wild and it seemed that the decision was final – that was until both Ferraris were disqualified due to a technical irregularity. Suddenly the winner’s cup was placed in the hands of Mika Hakkinen and Ferrari was out of the picture. The racing world was abuzz with controversy and Ferrari was outraged, until finally the steward’s decision was over-ruled and the cup was returned to Eddie Irvine.
The unpredictable weather patterns of the country often results in additional excitement at the Malaysian Grand Prix. For example, in 2001 a heavy rainstorm suddenly broke out in the middle of the race. Conditions became so bad that both Ferraris in the race spun off at the same corner of the race at almost the same time. Amazingly enough, both recovered to score a first and second in that year’s race. Thus far the Malaysian Grand Prix has been won by Eddie Irvine, Michael Schumacher (3 times), Ralf Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella. Starting in 2002, the Malaysian Grand Prix was moved from the end of the Grand Prix schedule to the beginning where it continued to play an interesting role in the world of Formula One racing.
Michael Schumacher has clocked up the most wins for the Malaysian Grand Prix, being 2000, 2001 and 2004, with Fernando Alonso taking 2005 and 2007, and Kimi Raikkonen winning in 2003 and 2008. The 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix will take place on 2-4 April, promising once again to provide plenty of excitement for teams and spectators alike.