With the Singapore Grand Prix behind and the Japanese Grand Prix looming, the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship® is heating up. Lewis Hamilton is in the lead by a paltry 3 points with his Mercedes team mate, Nico Rosberg, nipping at his heels.
However, while I’m looking forward to the remaining Formula 1 races of 2014, I’m really excited about the FIA confirming a 20-race calendar for 2015 Formula 1 racing. The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, also known as the International Automobile Federation) is the governing body for Formula 1 racing. With the reintroduction of the Mexican Grand Prix, next year’s season will finish one week later than in 2014, with the finale race taking place in Abu Dhabi the final weekend in November.
Races to Watch
British Grand Prix: July 5, 2015
The British Grand Prix will be held once again on the Silverstone Circuit, named for the nearby Northamptonshire village of Silverstone. This track has an illustrious history, having hosted the first ever world championship Grand Prix in May of 1950. The track originated as a perimeter road for the RAF Silverstone training base used during World War II to train crews flying the Wellington Bomber.
With driver safety in mind, the track has undergone several redesigns over the years, changing the once ultra-fast track into a more technical track. While its overall shape hasn’t changed much through the years, multiple chicanes and corners have been added and changed. The Maggots-Becketts-Chapel complex is one of the best quick-corner sequences the world over. Fortunately, the unique character of the track has been preserved. This flowing, fast track is a favorite of fans and drivers alike.
Italian Grand Prix: September 6, 2015
Speaking of history, Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix has been held at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza since the sport’s inception. The track’s construction began as early as 1922. Other than Indianapolis, it is the oldest track still used for Formula 1 racing and was briefly used by Allied Forces during World War II as a tank testing track. Construction of a new road circuit and high banking oval circuit began in 1954. A combined 10K lap of both the road course and the speed course was Monza’s most fearsome layout and was first used for the 1955 Italian Grand Prix. Juan Manuel Fangio won that race in brilliant fashion. The high-speed oval track has been unused for decades and is now decaying.
Unfortunately, the track’s history is filled with fatal accidents, having claimed the lives of 52 drivers and 35 spectators, so it is no wonder that the track is continuously being modified with spectator and driver safety in mind. However, the long straights and fast corners, like the Curva Grande, allow F1 cars to really show their raw speed capabilities. Drivers are often on full throttle through about 80% of the lap, with 2014 top speeds reaching 225 mph (362 kph).
Japanese Grand Prix: September 27, 2015
If you like technical racing, the Suzuka Circuit is a great track. The track was originally built in 1962 by Dutchman John “Hanz” Hugenholtz as a Honda test track. It is one of the few circuits to feature a figure 8 layout with the back straight passing over the front section on an overpass. The track has been modified several times, mostly adding and modifying corners and chicanes, and it first hosted the Japanese Grand Prix in 1987.
This track actually punishes driver’s mistakes, which is a rarity in modern tracks. It also puts considerable strain on brakes and tires, and locking brakes is often a common sight on this track. The 130R and Spoon corners are highlights of this track, and the circuit is one of the most enjoyed by both drivers and fans. Traditionally late in the season, the Japanese Grand Prix is frequently the deciding race in many World Championships.
Keep your eyes on Formula 1 racing if you like fast-paced excitement.