Nineteen races for 2009

The FIA has issued its first draft calendar for the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship. The season will start late with the first race being on March 29 in Melbourne, the date having been pushed back by around three weeks, almost certainly so that running the race in the early evening will make it much better for TV viewing audiences around the world. That day Australia will change the clocks but it is a week before the closks change in Europe, thus helping to carve one hour extra. The F1 circus will then move to Malaysia a week later and to Bahrain on April 19. There will be a three-week break to the start of the European season in Spain on May 10. There will then be two week breaks before Monaco (May 24), Canada (June 7) and Britain (June 21). The French GP will be a week after Silverstone on June 28, with Germany, Hungary Turkey, Valencia and Italy following on. This means that F1 will not have its annual summer holiday. There will be a gap of just one week between Monza and Spa and then F1 will head to Singapore (September 27), October 11 (Japan), China (October 18), Brazil (November 1) and Abu Dhabi on November 15.

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