It’s a special weekend
Today saw the start of the Ferrari Racing Days event in Istanbul, along with the penultimate European round of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, making its maiden appearance at Turkey’s Istanbul Park circuit.
It is likely F1’s 2013 calendar will drop from 20 to 19 races, Bernie Ecclestone has told an Austrian newspaper.
It has been rumoured the F1 chief executive was being urged by Red Bull, the owners of the former A1-Ring, to revive the Austrian grand prix. F1 chief executive Ecclestone has already reserved a twentieth race date on the 2013 calendar, in the wake of New Jersey’s demise.
Alex Wurz had a hand in the layout of the new Circuit of the Americas, which has lauded by formula one drivers this weekend.
Wurz, now 38 and a sports car driver, contested 69 grands prix between 1997 and 2007, finishing on the podium three times. The Austrian now works as a ‘driver coach’ at Williams, serving alongside his friend and countryman Toto Wolff, the British team’s new shareholder and director.
Bernie Ecclestone is interested in securing the former Turkish grand prix venue in Istanbul, the Hurriyet daily reports.
The newspaper said a tender is scheduled to take place next Wednesday. The Istanbul Park circuit hosted formula one races between 2005 and 2011, and although poorly attended the Hermann Tilke-penned layout was lauded particularly for its challenging quadruple-apex turn 8.
At the Yas Marina Circuit during the same weekend as the Formula One Grand Prix
Pirelli, the sole tyre supplier to the GP2 and GP3 Series, will bring its P Zero GP2 medium tyres to the 2011 GP2 Final in Abu Dhabi, a stand-alone event held at the Yas Marina Circuit during the same weekend as the Formula One Grand Prix (11-13 November). On this occasion, the Italian tyre manufacturer will reward the two top GP3 graduates competing against the GP2 regulars with a cash prize.
Bernie Ecclestone has not ruled out reinstating the Turkish grand prix on future formula one calendars, a local newspaper reports this week.
We reported this week that the Istanbul circuit, the scene of seven grands prix since 2005 but not on next year’s schedule, is on standby in the event Bahrain needs to be cancelled again. And the Turkish Hurriyet daily reports that F1 chief executive Ecclestone “has expressed hope that F1 management will agree with Turkish authorities to hold the races in the country again”.
F1’s governing body on Wednesday published a re-jigged final calendar for the 2012 season.
The unprecedented 20-race schedule begins with back-to-back races in Australia and Malaysia, with the next two grands prix also taking place on consecutive weekends. The final leg of the opening ‘flyaway’ season is Bahrain in late April, despite earlier provisional calendars giving the island Kingdom either a March or November date.
Test driver Jules Bianchi will run up and down the Vairano straight
Ferrari is preparing to return to the long straight of the Vairano circuit to test the latest upgrades for the team’s improving 2011 car. After a disappointing start to the season, Fernando Alonso secured the 150 Italia car’s first podium in Turkey and more upgrades will be brought to the Circuit de Catalunya in a week.
“The guys should all know Michael better than that.”
Michael Schumacher’s reaction to his poor race in Turkey last weekend showed he is a fighter, not a quitter, his manager Sabine Kehm has insisted. Following the 42-year-old’s admission that “the big joy is not there right now” after a fraught run in Istanbul, many commentators predicted the time is nigh for German Schumacher to return to retirement.