2014 Calender Finalised

The 2014 calender is finally out and after the provisional calender contained many question marks, it was a highly anticipated announcement. Key points in regards to the calender are the inclusion of the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, the exclusion of the Korean Grand Prix and the season finale returning to Abu Dhabi for the first time since 2010. Here comes a breakdown of the movers and shakers which have made the 2014 calender an entirely different prospect to 2013…
Even at the very top of the calender there are a number of key changes. While it looks insignificant at a glance, the season opener in Australia and second race in Malaysia will be an entirely different prospect for the teams next season. There is now a two week break between the two races as oppose to one, which may cause a logistical nightmare for teams. With a back to back race weekend, teams would fly straight from Australia to Malaysia however, the teams will have to fly back to bases before departing to Kuala Lumpur. This cost inefficiency is seemingly unnecessary – I am not aware of any constraints that have forced the FIA into this change, which makes the amendment even more questionable. Meanwhile, the plot thickens as from Malaysia, the teams will jet off to Bahrain in the first back to back race of the season, as Sakhir trade places with Shanghi. Another inexplicable head-scratcher.
Meanwhile, the start of the European season takes a traditional approach, with Spain followed by Monaco, followed by a trip to Canada. Then, on June 22nd, the eagerly anticipated Austrian Grand Prix makes its return. With tickets for the entire weekend selling out within three days, it will be a packed house at the infamous Red Bull Ring. The British Grand Prix then follows as it returns to its usual July 6th spot – That is most certainly one date you want in your diary!
The usual format once again resumes, with the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, followed by the Hungarian, Belgian and Italian Grand Prix. However, the Asian leg of the calender has experienced a significant trim with both the Indian and Korean Grand Prix being dropped, meaning that only the Singapore and Japanese Grand Prix remain. Sebastian Vettel fans may find this news concerning, considering Vettel’s domination of Asia in the past four years.
Meanwhile, Korea has been replaced by the highly anticipated Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. The venue should be astounding considering that the track is based in the Winter Olympic Park, yet the turnaround after the Olympics themselves could threaten the Grand Prix even taking place. Hopefully the Russian organisers will have sufficient funding to complete preparations on time. The end of the calender is particularly interesting in general with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix becoming the season finale. It has not held the position on the calender since 2010 – a particularly memorable finale where Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Button and Hamilton all entered the race with a chance of winning the championship. A similar occurrence will be welcomed in 2014.
The provisional 22 race calender has been reduced to just 19 races, yet these 19 are very interesting. Hopefully the Russian Grand Prix can take place and be a success – the Austrian Grand Prix live up to the billing. While the start of the season may be unorthodox, I commend the FIA on their construction of another excellent schedule.    


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