The British newspaper, The Guardian, claims to have gotten a hold of the desired schedule FOTA wants for its 2010 season. The rumoured schedule is 17 rounds long and visits a lot of old F1 venues that have left the series. The rumoured schedule and analysis after the jump.
- March 3 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
- March 21 – Mexico City, Mexico
- April 11 – Jerez, Spain
- April 25 – Portimao, Portugal
- May 2 – Imola, Italy
- May 23 – Monte Carlo, Monaco
- June 6 – Montreal, Canada
- June 13 – Indianapolis, USA
- July 1 – Silverstone, England
- July 25 – Magny-Cours, France
- August 15 – Lausitzring, Germany
- August 29 – Helsinki, Finland
- September 12 – Monza, Italy
- September 26 – Abu Dhabi, UAE
- October 10 – Marina Bay, Singapore
- October 24 – Suzuka, Japan
- November 8 – Adelaide, Australia or Surfers’ Paradise, Australia
There’s an interesting mix of old and new venues for the FOTA series. Argentina has been absent from F1 since 1998 and the Buenos Aires track is remembered for having few passing opportunities. We’re not expecting exciting racing from there. Mexico has been absent from F1 since 1992. The track has been home to some pretty good Champ Car and Grand-Am races in recent years which is encouraging for fans. However, Mexico does have a reputation for bad water. Will ex-F1 teams be able to live with the poor working conditions they’re likely to face?
Portimao, the Lausitzring, and Helsinki are the new venues for FOTA. Finland has never held a Formula One grand prix so the whole country would be new. The race is expected to be run in the streets of Helsinki so we have to take a wait and see attitude for this one. Portimao was used as a testing facility this winter and the teams loved it. The circuit has several different configurations which means that poor racing can be cured easily the next year by changing the layout. Lausitzring is perhaps the most intriguing because it’s an oval with a road course inside. The road course is reasonably fast but has no real distinguishing turns to it. That wouldn’t be an exciting race. If they were to run the oval, that would make for an absolutely brilliant spectacle.
Speaking of ovals, FOTA makes the important return to North America. It’s the world’s biggest automotive market which makes it important to FOTA as 5 members are car manufacturers. Montreal always produces exciting racing, usually through unusual circumstances, so it’s return to top flight motorsports is a good thing. Indianapolis was a bit of a snoozer. The original road course’s only redeeming feature was using the front-straight and Turn 1 from the oval. The new configuration for Moto GP takes out turn one which makes the whole track pretty hopeless. However, they do have a pretty nice oval at their disposal but I doubt they will be allowed to use it. I don’t think FOTA or the IRL want any opportunity for a direct comparison between the two series.
The last round of the proposed FOTA championship also intrigues me. Melbourne’s Albert Park is occupied by Formula 1 meaning an Australian round has to go else where. Surfers’ Paradise is a beautiful location but passing is a near impossibility on the tight coastal streets. Still, it would be rank among the most glamorous stops on the FOTA calendar. Adelaide held an F1 race for 10 years and was home to the famous Schumacher Incident of 1994. As a racing circuit, Adelaide gets the nod and I would hope that racing is the priority for FOTA.