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2012 FIA Formula 1 Season

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2012 FIA Formula One World Championship Race Calendar

01 2012 FORMULA 1 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX (Melbourne) 16 - 18 Mar
02 2012 FORMULA 1 PETRONAS MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX (Kuala Lumpur) 23 - 25 Mar
03 2012 FORMULA 1 UBS CHINESE GRAND PRIX (Shanghai) 13 - 15 Apr
04 2012 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX (Sakhir) 20 - 22 Apr
05 FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA SANTANDER 2012 (Catalunya) 11 - 13 May
06 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2012 (Monte Carlo) 24 - 27 May
07 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA 2012 (Montréal) 08 - 10 Jun
08 2012 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE (Valencia) 22 - 24 Jun
09 2012 FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX (Silverstone) 06 - 08 Jul
11 FORMULA 1 ENI MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2012 (Budapest) 27 - 29 Jul
12 2012 FORMULA 1 SHELL BELGIAN GRAND PRIX (Spa-Francorchamps) 31 Aug - 02 Sep
14 2012 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (Singapore) 21 - 23 Sep
15 2012 FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX (Suzuka) 05 - 07 Oct
16 2012 FORMULA 1 KOREAN GRAND PRIX (Yeongam) 12 - 14 Oct
17 2012 FORMULA 1 AIRTEL INDIAN GRAND PRIX (New Delhi) 26 - 28 Oct
19 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX (Austin) 16 - 18 Nov
20 2012 FORMULA 1 GRANDE PRÊMIO DO BRASIL 2012 (São Paulo) 23 - 25 Nov

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10 Things to look forward to in 2012

More champions, more races

This year could be the biggest ever season of Formula 1. The 2012 F1 calendar is the longest ever with 20 races stretching from March to November (though of course we can’t exclude the possibility of a race being cancelled as happened last year).

And for the first time in F1 history we will see six world champions assemble on the grid when the cars arrive in Melbourne.

Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher have 14 world championship titles between them.

Kimi Raikkonen’s comeback…

Special attention will be focused on Kimi Raikkonen’s return to the cockpit after a two-year absence. Excitingly, Raikkonen is paired with reigning GP2 champion Romain Grosjean in an all-new line-up at Lotus (aka The Team Formerly Known As Renault).

Raikkonen’s is a divisive figure, loved by many but regarded with disdain by some. But his credentials as a racer are not in dispute.

One of the most fascinating questions of 2012 be whether Raikkonen can recapture the brilliant peaks of form we saw in his McLaren days and world championship-winning season, and shake off the stupor which appeared to afflict his driving late in his Ferrari career.

And hopefully Robert Kubica’s too

The dreadful injuries suffered by Robert Kubica almost one year ago cast a pall over the start of the 2011 season.

Kubica’s road to recovery has been anything but smooth with multiple operations and, just a few weeks ago, a fall which further complicated his rehabilitation.

But Kubica – the man Fernando Alonso regards as F1′s best driver – appears set on a return to the top flight once his recovery is complete.

For him it surely can’t come soon enough. But all those who want to see him back at his bet will surely hope he waits until the damage has fully healed before returning to competition.

The proper tracks

With a calendar increasingly populated by drab Hermann Tilke clones, F1′s occasional visits to classic Grand Prix venues are something to be cherished.

Treasure the races at venues like Spa-Francorchamps, Suzuka, Monte-Carlo, Silverstone and Montreal. With an increasingly congested schedule, race hosting fees rising and growing economic pressures, they may not be there forever.

The United States Grand Prix

Tilke’s latest creation, the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, will host its first Grand Prix in November. On paper, there’s much to anticipate about this new venue, with a Silverstone-inspired opening sequence of fast corners and ample elevation change.

And F1′s return to the States is certainly something to be celebrated. F1′s popularity in America may never rival that of NASCAR or the National Football League. But being a minority sport which in a country of over 300 million people is hardly a bad thing.

And it’s clear from the feedback I’ve read on F1 Fanatic the sport has many dedicated and passionate followers in the USA.

Toro Rosso’s rookie squad

For those who lament conservative driver line-ups and the limited opportunities afforded to young drivers, Toro Rosso’s line-up for 2012 is highly exciting.

Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are both champions of British Formula Three who have excelled in Formula Renault 3.5 and had an introduction to driving F1 cars. Ricciardo, of course, already has half a season at HRT behind him.

Both know they have a chance to drive for world champions Red Bull if they show signs of being the next Sebastian Vettel. Here is one of the most tantalising intra-team contests of the year.

F1′s veterans keep on racing

The new season looks set to begin without Rubens Barrichello and Nick Heidfeld – two drivers with over 500 F1 starts between them.

But there is life after Formula 1. Several top drivers are moving into new championships this year and are definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Nick Heidfeld is expected to be confirmed at Rebellion Racing in the new World Endurance Championship this week.

He will be up against fellow former F1 drivers Alexander Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima who will drive ex-F1 entrant Toyota’s hybrid LMP1 car.

It may be over ten years since Jean Alesi last races in F1 but the competitive fire still burns and he’s planning to tackle the Indianapolis 500 with Lotus this year.

Will he be joined by Rubens Barrichello? The former Williams driver is testing for his friend Tony Kanaan’s IndyCar team KV Racing today amid speculation he might switch to the series this year.

More great racing

According to F1 Fanatics, 2011 saw better races than we had seen in any of the three previous seasons.

While the role of the controversial Drag Reduction System in that is fiercely disputed by its critics and defenders, the role played by the more challenging tyres introduced last year is generally better appreciated. And in 2012 Pirelli have promised to push the envelope further.

Last week F1′s official tyre supplier announced substantial changes to their tyre range this year including even softer compounds, which they expect will challenge the teams, create greater strategic variety and better racing.

In-season testing returns (sort of)

The addition of a single in-season test will add a new dimension to the start of the season.

For one thing, teams will have just 12 days of testing before the season begins. The likes of Mercedes, whose new car will not appear at the first test, will only get eight days’ running with it before the first race weekend of the year.

Before the start of the ‘European season’, teams will head to Mugello in Italy for three days of running. Look out for teams planning radical upgrades for the following race in Spain to take advantage of the test.

The 2013 silly season

Will Hamilton remain a McLaren man?

The drivers’ market has been rather unexciting for the last two years, leading some to dub it the ‘sensible season’.

But that could all change this year as at least one driver in each of F1′s top teams has their contract up for renewal at the end of the season: Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, Felipe Massa at Ferrari, Mark Webber at Red Bull and Michael Schumacher at Mercedes.

Will Hamilton commit his future to McLaren once more? Will someone get a chance to take Webber’s place with the current world champions? Will a new driver join the hallowed ranks of those who raced for the Scuderia?

Expect some wild rumours and, hopefully, a few surprises.

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Iceman Kimi finally back. Should be a good season

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Simon Lazenby – Presenter for main F1 shows of qualifying and race day.

  • Martin Brundle – Commentator for qualifying and race day, will also provide grid-walk and punditry before race. Previously covered F1 on ITV between 1997–2008 and on the BBC from 2009–2011. He will do his famous grid walk on every 20 races of the 2012 season. He will provide expert analysis on races and will provide his opinion.
  • Anthony Davidson – Commentator on practice and race day pundit. Previously covered F1 on ITV for one race in 2006, and on BBC Radio 5 Live from 2008–2011. Anthony will commentate along side Croft for the forthcoming 2012 season.
  • David Croft – Commentator on practice sessions, qualifying and race day. Previously covered F1 on BBC Radio 5 Live from 2006–2011. David will commentate on every session of the across the weekend, Practice, Qualifying and indeed the Race. He will be head commentator for practice along side Anthony Davidson and co-commentator for qualifying and the race.
  • Ted Kravitz – Pitlane reporter and will also host an F1 Magazine programme. Previously covered F1 on ITV from 2002–2008 and on the BBC from 2009–2011. Ted will give any bits of gossip down from the pitlane. He has being providing excellent information for years.
  • Natalie Pinkham – Pitlane reporter. Previously held similar role on BBC Radio 5 Live in 2011. Natalie will be providing the key information that viewers will need.
  • Steve Rider – Presenter for Legends interviews programme. Previously host of Formula One occasionally on the BBC from 1985–1996 and on ITV from 2006–2008.
  • Georgie Thompson – Presenter for F1 Magazine show with Ted Kravitz.
  • Damon Hill – Expert analyst who will provide insight from ten races throughout the year (Australia, Bahrain, Monaco, Britain, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, India, USA and Brazil).

In February 2012 it was announced that Sky Sports F1 would also broadcast a number of support races live.[15] Support races announced so far include:

  • GP2 - Formula 1 feeder series. Previous champions include Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean. The 12-round 2012 GP2 series will begin in Malaysia on 23-25 March and follows a global circuit through 10 countries. Sky Sports F1 will show the two races per weekend; a feature race and a shorter sprint race.
  • GP3 - Single seater motor racing series launched in 2010 as a feeder series for the GP2 series.

During 2012, the channel will run between 9 March and 30 November and will be on air for sixty-three hours during race weeks and thirty-two hours during non-race weeks.

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Red Bull launch today. Expecting the platypus nose but im really interested in how they are gonna direct the exhausts (Obviosuly we wont find out until the tests) as they were arguably the best at exploiting the blown diffuser.

Sauber just launched. Looks decent. Very tidy.

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Jerez Testing Times

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault E20 1’19.670 75
2 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes VJM05 1’19.772 101 0.102
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W02 1’20.219 56 0.549
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault RB8 1’20.496 53 0.826
5 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR7 1’20.694 57 1.024
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes W02 1’20.794 42 1.124
7 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari C31 1’21.353 105 1.683
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes MP4-27 1’21.530 62 1.860
9 Felipe Massa Ferrari F2012 1’22.815 69 3.145
10 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault CT01 1’23.178 28 3.508
11 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault FW34 1’23.371 25 3.701
12 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth F111 1’23.676 44 4.006[/CODE]

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Yes the Lotus looks very stable. Would love to see Kimi racing closely with the Mercedes. Mercedes F-Duct front wing still means its gonna be hard for Lotus to break the top 4.

Sauber experimenting like crazy on the rear bodywork

Toro Rosso looks very consistent.

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