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Grand Prix

by Perry Deakin

17 Jan 2018

As we clear away the Christmas decorations for another year, join a gym in order to ‘lose that holiday excess’ (but let’s face it, most of us will have cancelled our gym membership long before Easter!) and try to find ways of avoiding the humiliation of watching England Cricket’s pathetic attempt to take on the Aussies over what is left of their tour, sports fans thoughts will begin to turn towards March and the return of F1 racing!

The calendar for the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship has been approved during a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, held last month in Geneva, Switzerland. The season will consist of 21 Grands Prix, thus equalling the record for the greatest number of races in a year, established in 2016.

There are two important new dates, with the return of Formula 1 Grosser Preis von Deutschland and that of the Formula 1 Grand Prix de France, which has been missing from the calendar since 2008.

Jean Todt, President of the FIA commented: “Alongside our partners in Formula 1 and across the FIA’s major championships we have been working hard in recent months to achieve greater harmony among the various sporting calendars and reaching an early agreement on the 2018 Formula 1 schedule is part of this ongoing process.

As usual, the 2018 season will get underway in Australia on 25th March in Melbourne and will end exactly eight months later on 25th November at Yas Marina, home to the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Eleven of the 21 races will take place in Europe, five in Asia, four in the Americas and one in Australia. The need to maintain more or less unchanged the length of the winter and summer breaks means the schedule is more intensive than the current one during the middle part of the season, with five Grands Prix, all of them in Europe, taking place over a six-week period (listen out for F1 Team Principles and drivers to start complaining about the schedule soon!).

So, who do we want to end the season as world champion? Unusually for Brits, we are divided about our all-conquering 4 time world champ, Lewis Hamilton. There is almost a grudging respect for his talent and ability to win races and championships but I think it is fair to say that as a nation we don’t like the man!

His general demeanor and regular sulking seems to grind with the British public and I am always astounded at just how many Brits root for his competitors during races!

There are new owners of F1 since the incredible Bernie Ecclestone sold his shares in the business and the American owners will desperately want any team other than Mercedes winning races. The sport has been dominated by the German team for some time now and audiences are just beginning to dwindle.

Personally, I am hoping for an ultra-competitive season with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull battling for the title.. and a more humble Lewis!

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