Now that this year’s Formula One is wrapping up, fans are starting to rev up for next year’s excitement.
The following guide will give you an overview taster of the teams, drivers and main calendar changes for Formula One’s 2012 season.
The pre-season Formula One testing season for 2012 begins immediately after the 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the same vicinity with a three-day ‘Young Driver Test’ at the Yas Marina Circuit from 15-17 November 2011. This event is for drivers with fewer than three Formula One race starts to their name.
Confirmed Teams and Drivers
The following teams and their drivers have been confirmed for this year’s Formula One:
· Scuderia Ferrari – race drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
· Sahara Force – race drivers TBA.
· HRT – race drivers TBA.
· Team Lotus – race drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli.
· Vodafone McLaren Mercedes – race drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
· Mercedes GP Petronas Mercedes – race driver Michael Schumacher http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Formula_One_season – cite_note-Schumacher-15 and the second TBA.
· Red Bull Racing – race drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
· Lotus Renault GP – race driver Vitaly Petrov and the second TBA.
· Sauber – race drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez.
· Scuderia Toro Rosso – race drivers TBA.
· Marussia Virgin Racing – race driver http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Formula_One_season – cite_note-22Timo Glock and the second TBA.
· AT&T Williams – race drivers TBA.
The upcoming team changes that have been reported are as follows:
In June 2011, British team Williams announced that they will be using Renault engines for the 2012 and 2013 Formula One seasons, with an option to use Renault engines again in 2014 under the next generation of engine regulation changes. Renault has previously supplied engines to Williams from 1989 to 1997, during which time the team won four World Drivers’ Championships and five World Constructors’ Championships.
Virgin Racing has split with Wirth Research mid-season this year after a technical review by former Renault F1 Team Engineering Director Pat Symonds found that Virgin’s CFD-only approach had failed. The team also announced a technical partnership with McLaren that has now granted them access to McLaren’s expert testing facilities.
It has previously been announced that Austin, Texas will be the proud host to the return of the United States Grand Prix, marking the first such event since the Indianapolis Grand Prix in 2007.
Known as the Circuit of the Americas, this venue boasts a new, purpose-built permanent circuit designed by none other than Hermann Tilke. There has been some controversy however, with Bernie Ecclestone expressing “minor” doubt over the race going ahead after what he described as “disagreements inside the [management] company”.
The official 2012 F1 calendar, released in July this year, reveals that several events are to be amended:
The Bahrain Grand Prix
This was moved to the end of the season after the 2011 race was postponed and later cancelled due to civil unrest. At this year’s Japanese Grand Prix, several teams expressed concern over renewed violence in the country. These concerns were taken to the November meeting of the Formula One Commission who then instigated the change.
The German Grand Prix
In line with the event’s policy of alternating between venues, this will return to Hockenheim after the 2011 German Grand Prix was held at the Nürburgring,
The Korean Grand Prix
This was to be brought forward from October to April, similar to the move that the Chinese Grand Prix made in 2009. But due to the July calendar bringing the Indian Grand Prix forward to April, the Korean event will remain in its October slot.
The Turkish Grand Prix
This was removed from the calendar after Formula One Management and the event organisers could not agree on renewed contract terms. In August 2011 however, the race organisers revealed that they were negotiating with Bernie Ecclestone to resume their place. Despite negotiations, the Turkish Grand Prix is absent from the final calendar released this past August.
United States Grand Prix
This race was originally scheduled to be held in June, but due to concerns over the scorching hot Texas summer, it has been moved back to become the penultimate event of the 2012 season.
While this year’s Formula One had some chair-gripping moments, next year’s season promises to be just as exciting, if not more. To keep your spirits racing until it opens in 2012, you can always stock up on some great F1 merchandise online.
About the Author: Lucas Ives is a Formula One fan.