Formula One 2010 calendar: a new track in South Korea

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The Independent Online

As the 2010 Formula One season approaches, teams have decided to join forces and throw a combined launch event sometime early in January to reveal their new cars and drivers, before pre-season testing commences. After that, it will be all hands to the deck to get ready for when the six-month, 19-race season begins in March.

World Championship races are typically one to two weeks apart, with a longer three-week gap occurring only during August towards the end of the season. On the weekends of the races themselves, teams arrive to set up and take part in qualifying laps on the Friday and Saturday prior to the main event on the Sundays dated below.

Key changes since the 2009 season include the introduction of three new teams in Campos Meta 1, Virgin Racing, Lotus, and US F1, all driving Cosworth-engined vehicles. BMW withdrew the BMW Sauber team until a buyout by Peter Sauber and Toyota's withdrawal from the sport allowed the reformed Sauber team to re-enter for 2010.

Regarding personnel changes, 2009 World Champion Jenson Button has left Mercedes-Brawn (which was formerly Honda Racing) to Mercedes-McLaren and fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton, 2008's title-holder. The nephew of racing legend Ayrton Senna, Bruno, will drive for Campos Meta F1, Niko Hülkenberg moves up from GP2 to partner Rubens Barichello who comes in to Williams from the old Brawn team, and Kimi Räikkönen is taking a break from F1 by driving for Citroën in the World Rally Championship.

In terms of racetracks, the Toyota-owned Fuji track is not available, so the Japanese Grand Prix will be held at Suzuka rather than continuing its usual biennial rotation with Fuji. The Canadian Grand Prix returns to the F1 fold after having a year off in 2009, and South Korea becomes a new destination for teams and fans, pending the completion of the track in early July.

Both qualifying and points systems have been overhauled as a result of the larger stable of F1 teams. Whereas it used to be only the top eight racers who were credited with points at the end of a race, now the top 10 will be in line. Regarding qualifying, no refuelling is to be allowed between the three sessions, with only the best 18 cars going through to the second round, and out of those the top 10 proceed to the final round at which the most favorable pole positions are decided.

March 14, 12:00 GMT
Bahrain Grand Prix
Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Manama, Bahrain

March 28, 06:00 GMT
Australian Grand Prix
Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

April 4, 08:00 GMT
Malaysian Grand Prix
Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

April 18, 06:00 GMT
Chinese Grand Prix
Shanghai International Circuit, China

May 9, 12:00 GMT
Spanish Grand Prix
Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

May 16, 12:00 GMT
Monaco Grand Prix
Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco

May 30, 11:00 GMT
Turkish Grand Prix
Istanbul Park, Turkey

June 13, 16:00 GMT
Canadian Grand Prix
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada

June 27, 12:00 GMT
European Grand Prix
Valencia Street Circuit, Spain

July 11, 12:00 GMT
British Grand Prix
Silverstone Circuit, United Kingdom

July 25, 12:00 GMT
German Grand Prix
Hockenheimring, Germany

August 1, 12:00 GMT
Hungarian Grand Prix
Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary

August 29, 12:00 GMT
Belgian Grand Prix
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium

September 12, 12:00 GMT
Italian Grand Prix
Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy

September 26, 12:00 GMT
Singapore Grand Prix
Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

October 10, 06:00 GMT
Japanese Grand Prix
Japan Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Japan

October 24, 05:00 GMT
Korean Grand Prix
Korean International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea

November 7, 16:00 GMT
Brazilian Grand Prix
Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo, Brazil

November 14, 13:00 GMT
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Yas Marina Circuit, United Arab Emirates