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The 2009 calendar - Australia to Britain // A roundup of the first half of the Formula One calendar

Published by Christine

This article was originally written for BellaOnline, but is republished here for posterity.

There are quite a few changes to the 2009 F1 Calendar compared to last season. We've lost one race, as Canada has been kicked off the calendar, and France pulled out due to financial difficulties. There is one addition, with a new circuit at Abu Dhabi, ready to host the season finale in 2009. Here's a quick guide to the first half of the year.

Australia

There is ongoing confusion over the future of the Australian Grand Prix. The event constantly makes a loss, but in terms of racing, it's one of the most action packed weekends of the year. Everyone is excited to be back in action, and there's usually a certain amount of chaos to mix things up. Performance can't be judged on the Australian results, but it's a great way to get the season going.

Malaysia

Malaysia hosts one of the hottest races on the calendar, with the humidity an added endurance factor for the drivers. As the second flyaway race at the start of the season, teams need to maximise reliability, as securing extra parts can be expensive and timely.

China

When the Shanghai circuit was introduced on the calendar, it's facilities were impressive and their corporate hospitality seemed unbeatable. However, there have already been complaints about the lack of facilities for fans, and grandstand numbers have been falling. Moving from the end of the 2008 calendar to the start of the 2009 season will also mean a quick turnaround for organisers.

Bahrain

Both Ferrari and Toyota spent a lot of time testing in Bahrain over the winter, so they will be accustomed to the hot, dry and dusty atmosphere. The others may take a while to adjust, but Bahrain is the last race before the European leg of the season begins, so teams will be looking forward to heading home.

Spain

The one problem with the race being held at Barcelona is that a lot of time is spent testing there over the winter. Although the in-season testing ban will make the track's current conditions more of an unknown, all involved are still completely familiar with it's twists and turns.

Monaco

The highlight of the calendar for many involved, Monaco introduces some glitz and glamour into proceedings, even if the racing can sometimes be dull. For the drivers, the race is one of the most intense, as concentration is paramount to not end up in the barriers. The tunnel is a particular highlight.

Turkey

Turkey remains one of the more popular recent additions to the calendar. As one of the few tracks to run anti-clockwise, it presents a challenge to the drivers as they feel the strain on their necks. Turkey moved up the calendar from the 12th round to the 5th in 2008, but now slips back to the 7th.

Britain

During the British Grand Prix in 2008, Bernie announced that Silverstone had lost the contract to hold the race, and it would be moving to Donington Park in 2010. If that is the case, and many still don't believe it will happen, then Silverstone, who held the very first F1 World Championship race in 1950, will feature it's last race this year.

If you enjoyed this look at the first half of the calendar for 2009, stay tuned for the second half - Germany to Abu Dhabi.