F1: 2010 calendar reveals new British Grand Prix blow

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarTuesday, September 22nd, 2009


Update: Looking for the very latest news on the British Grand Prix? Check our dedicated post on the subject here.

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Patriotic sports fans may be forced to choose between Button and Beckham or Hamilton and Heskey next summer after the new FIA calendar pitted the British Grand Prix head to head with football’s World Cup Final.

The news that it will have to compete with the planet’s most-viewed sporting contest – in a competition where England will be among the favourites after qualifying with ease – delivers a fresh blow to an event already behind the curve on ticket sales.

Recent sell-out events at Silverstone have been based on tickets for the following year’s event becoming available immediately after the race, so satisfied customers could re-book straight away, with knock-on effects for local hotels, B&Bs and campsites.

But with the grand prix slated to move to Donington Park in 2010, and with that circuit’s redevelopment stalled so that tickets are still not on sale three months after the race, a full quarter of the available time for for promoting the event has already been lost.

The news that Donington must persuade people to spend cash on going to the races on the same day that one of the Home Nations might be playing for the world’s most famous sporting trophy will not help matters, at least with fans south of the border.

However the venue’s promoter Simon Gillett has said he plans to make the best of the scheduling clash.

When a provisional calendar revealing the issue was made public at the Belgian Grand Prix, he mooted the idea of erecting big screens at the circuit so race fans could stay on and watch the match in a party atmosphere.

Unlike some races such as Monaco, where the date is traditionally fixed, the British Grand Prix’s scheduling has been a moveable feast in the last few years. It has often been in the first or second weekend of July but has also been held as early as June 11 and as late as July 20. A venture into early April in 2000 was disastrous with the spring weather soaking the event.

Its 2010 date of July 11 seems like particularly cruel luck for its already-beleagured organisers.

The British Grand Prix is one of five out of the six historic European races to appear on the calendar at this point, despite recent fears that some might fail to make the cut. They are Monaco, Italy, Germany, Great Britain and Belgium – although France is still absent and there is still no American date.

Canada rejoins the calendar, although it is still subject to contract negotiations, and a revised date for Turkey will be substituted should plans not come to fruition. The only completely new venue is South Korea towards the end of the season.

The season finale has been restored to Brazil after a detour to Abu Dhabi this year, and the European Grand Prix is retained at Valencia.

The F1 calendar for 2010

  1. Bahrain: March 14
  2. Australia: March 28
  3. Malaysia: April 4
  4. China: April 18
  5. Spain: May 9
  6. Monaco: May 23
  7. Turkey: May 30
  8. Canada (provisional): June 13
  9. Europe (Valencia): June 27
  10. Great Britain: July 11
  11. Germany: July 25
  12. Hungary: August 1
  13. Belgium: August 29
  14. Italy: September 12
  15. Singapore: September 26
  16. Japan: October 3
  17. South Korea: October 17
  18. Abu Dhabi: October 31
  19. Brazil: November 14

6 responses to “F1: 2010 calendar reveals new British Grand Prix blow”:

  1. Matt Rutherford Says:

    September 22nd, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Excellent scheduling – not surprising bearing in mind who manages the sport…spending cash on both events will be a challenge for a lot of fans of both sports, with staying at home for football probably being the winner.

    However – the world cup final will be on in the late afternoon, just after the GP, so I suspect the big screens at Donington will show the game, and a sunny day + big crowds would make for an awesome atmosphere.

  2. F1 links: British GP in World Cup clash | F1 Fanatic - The Formula 1 Blog | F1 video | F1 pictures | F1 news | Lewis Hamilton | Fernando Alonso Says:

    September 23rd, 2009 at 9:01 am

    […] 2010 calendar reveals new British Grand Prix blow (Brits on Pole) […]

  3. F1 links: British GP in World Cup clash | F1Juice.com Says:

    September 23rd, 2009 at 9:35 am

    […] 2010 calendar reveals new British Grand Prix blow (Brits on Pole) […]

  4. PaulF1 Says:

    September 23rd, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    It’s not a problem for me so long as I get to see real sportsmen who risk their lives & not be pushed out by foppish popinjays who mince around after a the wrong shaped ball. Real men take part in sports, activites where their lives are at risk. Foppish popinjays play games, activities other than sports.

    Strong opinion, yes. But seeing the state that soccer is in with its’ overpayed, over rated & sadly all over our press I can’t be persuaded otherwise.


  5. Steven Says:

    September 24th, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I think the British GP will end up at Silverstone and I hope it does.

  6. LJH Says:

    September 24th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    The problem is that things are getting worryingly tight time-wise even for Silverstone now. Its managing director said a few weeks back that he had to take a decision by the beginning of October at the latest as to whether or not to send all the grandstands they lease back to the company that owns them, since they’re not going to be needed for the bike racing.

    Silverstone says (and admittedly they have their own agenda here) that they have tried to talk to Donington about contingency plans, but were rebuffed. Donington continues to bullishly insist it will be ready. Apparently Bernie Ecclestone needs a bank guarantee by the end of September or Donington is a bust. Well, that’s now seven days away.

    But, regardless of whether it’s Donington or Silverstone, tickets are *still* not on sale three months after the race and the event has *still* been scheduled by Formula One Management in the most unhelpful fashion imaginable. And if the sales of Simon Gillett’s famous debentures are predicated on access to the 2010 race, then competing with the world’s most popular sporting event is hardly going to help to rush them off the shelves, is it? With the knock-on effects for funding the whole project.

    Conspiracy theories aside, it’s very hard not to believe that Bernie Ecclestone actually wants the 2010 race to fail.

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