Coming up to the last third of the Championship, it is time that the stakeholders in Formula 1 gradually start preparing for the 2010 season. In line with that, a provisional 2010 calendar is doing the rounds at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.
According to this provisional calendar, the Bahrain Grand Prix will host the curtain raiser for the 2010 season. The Australian Grand Prix, which have hosted the season opening races over the last few years, have been moved down the calendar to coincide with the start of the Daylight Saving Time in Europe, so that the time difference for European audiences is less than what it is normally. When the races at Melbourne started at their usual afternoon starting time, most of Europe would be fast asleep at the middle of the night and thus missing live coverage. To improve live television coverage in Europe, Bernie Ecclestone moved the start time of the Australian Grand Prix this year to 1700 local time. That gave an early morning broadcast in Europe, which massively helped the television viewing figures. The bad thing with such a late start to the race was that the setting sun seriously reduced the visibility, and the drivers complained quite a lot of poor visibility. Hopefully, that problem will not be faced anymore next year with an earlier race start.
Among the other changes, Shanghai moves back to autumn while Istanbul comes forward to April. All the other races stay pretty much the way they are this year, the only difference being the British Grand Prix will be at Donington Park and the German Grand Prix will be at the Hockenheimring. There are, however, 18 races on the provisional 2010 calendar as opposed to 17 this year. That is brilliant news because the wonderful track at Montreal comes back to Formula 1 with the Canadian Grand Prix. I am personally very happy to see Montreal back as it really is a great race track. Montreal last hosted a Formula 1 race in 2007, but then pulled out because of a lack of funding. Revised contractual arrangements with Bernie Ecclestone, however, has ensured that the Canadian Grand Prix is back on the Formula 1 calendar as the only North American race. Just like this year, the 2010 season ends with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the brand new Yas Marina Circuit.
Here is the full provisional 2010 Formula One calendar:
DATE GRAND PRIX (CIRCUIT)
March 14 Bahrain (Sakhir)
March 28 Australia (Melbourne)
April 4 Malaysia (Sepang)
April 25 Turkey (Istanbul)
May 9 Spain (Barcelona)
May 23 Monaco (Monte Carlo)
June 6 Canada (Montreal)
June 27 Europe (Valencia)
July 11 Great Britain (Donington)
July 25 Germany (Hockenheim)
August 1 Hungary (Budapest)
August 22 Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
September 5 Italy (Monza)
September 19 China (Shanghai)
September 26 Singapore (Singapore)
October 10 Japan (Suzuka)
October 24 Brazil (Interlagos)
November 7 Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)