A guide to every track of the 2017 F1 season

Sport360 staff 22/03/2017

With the Formula One season about to get underway, we take a look at the circuits that will see all the action.

Which track are you most looking forward to this year?

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Australian GP

Mar 24-26

Circuit name: Albert Park

Distance: 58 laps – 307.574km

Lap: 5.303km

2016 Podium finish

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

Albert Park is known for its fast corners which represent the best opportunities for overtaking. It’s a street circuit which follows the roads around the park lake.

Chinese GP

April 7-9

Circuit name: Shanghai International

Distance: 56 laps – 305.066km

Lap: 5.451km

2016 Podium finish

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

3. Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull)

With sweeping curves and long straights, Shanghai, theoretically, is among the most overtaking-friendly tracks on the F1 calendar.

Bahrain GP

April 14-16

Circuit name: Bahrain International

Distance: 57 laps – 308.238km

Lap: 5.412km

2016 Podium finish

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

Positioned in the middle of the desert, the circuit is synonymous with modern tracks with a few long straights and slow corners.

Russian GP

April 28-30

Circuit name: Sochi Autodrome

Distance: 53 laps – 309.745km

Lap: 5.848km

2016 Podium finish

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

Is becoming one of the more popular tracks among the drivers due to the number of technical corners and lack of heat degradation on the tires.

Spanish GP

May 12-14

Circuit name: Barcelona-Catalunya

Distance: 66 laps – 307.104km

Lap: 4.655km

2016 Podium finish

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrrari)

It’s been said if a car is fast in Barcelona, it’ll be fast everywhere else. Because testing is held here, it’s probably the most familiar track to all the drivers.

Monaco GP

May 25-28

Circuit name: Monaco

Distance: 78 laps – 260.286km

Lap: 3.337km

2016 Podium finish

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

3. Sergio Perez (Force India)

The shortest GP and still the jewel in the crown, due to its unique setting. Overtaking can be hard and it’s among the most challenging of all the 20 tracks.

Canadian GP

June 9-11

Circuit name: Gilles Villeneuve

Distance: 70 laps – 305.270km

Lap: 4.361km

2016 Podium finish

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrrari)

3. Valtteri Bottas (Williams)

Often produces the most exciting racing while the ‘Wall of Champions’ at the end of the final chicane has seen some of the very best drivers crash out.

Azerbaijan GP

June 23-25

Circuit name: Baku City

Distance: 51 laps – 306.049km

Lap: 6.003km

2016 Podium finish

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrrari)

3. Sergio Perez (Force India)

Travels through the streets of Baku and is the second-longest on the calendar. Still carries an element of the unknown but has shown to be a quick race.

Austrian GP

July 7-9

Circuit name: Red Bull Ring

Distance: 71 laps – 307.02km

Lap: 4.326km

2016 Podium finish

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

Given it’s held in the Styrian mountains, often the biggest challenge are the sharp changes in elevation which impacts on team set-ups.

British GP

July 14-16

Circuit name: Silverstone

Distance: 52 laps – 306.198km

Lap: 5.891km

2016 Podium finish

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

3. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

Around £5m has been spent on making the iconic track faster while retaining all its tradition and individuality; stemming from the numerous technical corners.

Hungarian GP

July 28-30

Circuit name: Hungaroring

Distance: 70 laps – 306.630km

Lap: 4.381km

2016 Podium finish

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

A twisty, turny kind of track which is often dusty, given the time of year it is held, which can play havoc with a car’s grip along with the swirling wind.

Belgian GP

August 25-27

Circuit name: Spa-Francorchamps

Distance: 44 laps – 308.052km

Lap: 7.004km

2016 Podium finish

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

A real drivers’ favourite. The longest track which balances speed and precision with some testing corners and plenty of areas to overtake.

Italian GP

September 1-3

Circuit name: Monza Autodrome

Distance: 53 laps – 306.720km

Lap: 5.793km

2016 Podium finish

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrrari)

The loudest venue on the grid – which only intensifies if Ferrari produce a winner, Monza is also one of the quickest GPS, often over inside 90 minutes.

Singapore GP

September 15-17

Circuit name: Marina Bay Street

Distance: 61 laps – 308.828km

Lap: 5.065km

2016 Podium finish

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

Visually stunning, given it takes place at night, the race itself is a taxing one for the drivers as it’s long, the weather is humid and the surface can be bumpy.

Malaysian GP

Sep 29-Oct 1

Circuit name: Sepang International

Distance: 56 laps – 310.408km

Lap: 5.543km

2016 Podium finish

1. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

3. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

Weather can be the main factor here as Malaysia’s changable climate can lead to blazing sunshine to pouring rain in the space of a few laps.

Japanese GP

October 6-8

Circuit name: Suzuka

Distance: 53 laps – 307.471km

Lap: 5.807km

2016 Podium finish

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

Rated the toughest to master of all the circuits, Suzuka is truly unique, challenging the best drivers throughout its mazey and sweeping corners.

US GP

October 20-22

Circuit name: Circuit of the Americas

Distance: 56 laps – 308.405km

Lap: 5.513km

2016 Podium finish

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

Has drawn inspiration from a number of other tracks and is trying to find some identity but the uphill run to the first corner makes for interesting viewing.

Mexican GP

October 27-29

Circuit name: Hermanos Rodriguez

Distance: 71 laps – 305.354km

Lap: 4.304km

2016 Podium finish

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

F1’s top brass and the teams and drivers were blown away by the atmosphere as Mexico returned to the grid last year for the first time since 1993.

Brazilian GP

November 10-12

Circuit name: Jose Carlos Pace

Distance: 71 laps – 305.909km

Lap: 4.309km

2016 Podium finish

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

A classic on the calendar, Interlagos still holds a special place in the hearts of many. The track itself has provided some major drama down the years.

Abu Dhabi GP

November 24-26

Circuit name: Yas Marina

Distance: 55 laps – 305.355km

Lap: 5.554km

2016 Podium finish

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrrari)

Boasting the best facilities in F1, the day/night spectacular has carved its own niche in the sport. Will be hosting the season finale for a sixth time.

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Listen to this week's Inside Line F1 podcast

Sport360 staff 22/03/2017
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In this week’s episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal asks whether new Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas will leave us reminiscing over reigning champions Nico Rosberg.

As we excitedly countdown to the 2017 Australian Grand Prix, we wonder if we’ll be treated to an epic Formula 1 race or a Sunday morning snooze fest?

Will Bottas be able to challenge Lewis Hamilton like his predecessor regularly did? The pressure is on the Finn given that the Mercedes bosses have given him four races to prove himself. But will the fans be as patient?

And there’s more to look forward to in Australia as well. Will Red Bull Racing’s RB13 look different than the one that appeared in pre-season testing?

And what of the rookies, Esteban Ocon and even Lance Stroll?

Along with iTunes and audioBoom, you can also now subscribe to Inside Line on Google Play Podcasts.

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F1 preview: Gearing up for life after Bernie

Matt Majendie 22/03/2017
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Bernie Ecclestone

The curtain has closed on the Bernie Ecclestone years and a new era dawns for Formula 1 in Australia.

There is uncertainty quite what direction the sport will go in partly because the sport’s new owners, Liberty Media, have kept their cards close to their chest since paying $8 billion to buy the product that is F1.

Initially, the man tasked with heading Liberty’s operation, Chase Carey, intimated that Ecclestone would be integral to the sport going forward in the near future at the very least.

But working closely with the octogenarian as the purchase edged ever closely, he realised ties had to be severed entirely – and quite brutally – with F1’s long-term supremo, some would say dictator.

Carey admits he still talks to Ecclestone once or twice a week, which is understandable considering the puppet strings he held over the sport for so long from the minutiae of allocating paddock passes to the big-bucks race deals.

Ecclestone still intends to attend half the races – although Australia won’t be one of them in his role of chairman emeritus – although he does not take too kindly to it.

In the build-up to the first race of F1’s new era, Ecclestone said: “The last thing I am is an ambassador. I’d be a bad one actually,” and he makes clear that the new owners wanted “to get rid of the Bernie era”.

Instead, he will stir from the outside looking in, as he already has done, likening his time at the helm to “a five-star Michelin restaurant” and, with a dig at the new US bosses of the sport, “not a hamburger joint”.

Quite what the future lies in store for F1, no one really knows, some critics even suggesting that is the case for Liberty Media too.

Carey is not an F1 aficionado. Whereas Ecclestone climbed through the ranks of the sport, Carey only attended his first F1 race in September but he is business savvy having formerly worked as Rupert Murdoch’s right-hand man.

But the 62-year-old with the bushy moustache has at least given some hints to what lies ahead in terms of what happened during F1 testing in Barcelona in recent weeks.

There, teams were permitted to use social media to reveal clips of their cars and pit crews in action – a monstrous no, no of the Ecclestone years. It indicated greater freedom for teams and drivers alike but also backed up a previous pledge by Liberty that they would push the digital platform much more.

Such an approach is understandable. F1 wants a younger audience and that is the appeal of a business which globally has seen television viewing figures fall by 200 million since 2008.

Liberty want to make their own mark on the sport, as Carey said in a recent interview, “we clearly want to run the business in a different way”.

F1’s new hierarchy testifies to just that. Instead of just Ecclestone at the top, Carey will be CEO but flanked by two right-hand men: Sean Bratches as managing director of commercial operations, and Ross Brawn, the former Mercedes team principal, as managing director of the sport. In addition, there are plans afoot to double F1’s workforce from a fairly meagre 70.

F1’s most iconic brand, Ferrari, have bought into it – quite literally by buying Liberty Media stock, and other teams have been invited to buy into the same model.

The brief noises that Carey has made in public are partly of evolution, partly revolution.

This week, he told The Times newspaper: “The top line I’ve heard multiple times is that the racing needs to be more exciting and less predictable. The rules have become very complicated. Engineers have overtaken the drivers, so we need to push the drivers back to the forefront.”

More broadly, he adds: “We’re not just shifting ten degrees. We really want to create a new way of doing business and a new culture with a broader universe we deal with.”

One assumes amid the soundbites, Carey has a master plan for F1 for Melbourne and beyond.

The former team owner Eddie Jordan said “goodbye and good riddance Bernie” in a jokey take on the end of the Ecclestone era last week before pointing out the work Ecclestone had done in making Jordan and other’s rich from the sport.

But Jordan also echoed the sentiments of many others: “Thank you Bernie for everything but the sport needs a change.”

What the change proves to be will come clearer from one race weekend to the next.

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