Brands Hatch is a motor racing circuit in West Kingsdown, England. First used as a grasstrack motorcycle circuit on farmland, it hosted 12 runnings of the British Grand Prix between 1964 and 1986 and hosts many British and International racing events; the venue is operated by Jonathan Palmer's MotorSport Vision organisation. Gerhard Berger once said that Brands Hatch is "the best circuit in the world". Paddock Hill Bend is a renowned corner. Brands Hatch offers two layout configurations; the shorter "Indy Circuit" layout is located within a natural amphitheatre offering spectators views of all of the shorter configuration from wherever they watch. The longer "Grand Prix" layout played host to Formula One racing, including events such as Jo Siffert's duel with Chris Amon in 1968 and future World Champion Nigel Mansell's first win in 1985. Noise restrictions and the proximity of the Grand Prix loop to local residents mean that the number of race meetings held on the extended circuit are limited to just a few per year.
The full Grand Prix circuit begins on the Brabham Straight, an off-camber curved stretch, before plunging into the right-hander at Paddock Hill Bend, with gradients of 8%. Despite the difficulty of the curve, due to the straight that precedes it, it is one of the track's few overtaking spots; the next corner, Druids, is a hairpin bend, negotiated after an uphill braking zone at Hailwood Hill. The track curves around the south bank spectator area into the downhill, off-camber Graham Hill Bend, another bent stretch at the Cooper Straight, which runs parallel to the pit lane. After the straight, the circuit climbs uphill though the decreasing-radius Surtees turn, before moving onto the back straight where the track's top speeds can be reached; the most significant elevation changes on the circuit occur here at Pilgrim's Drop and Hawthorn Hill, which leads into Hawthorn Bend. The track loops around the woodland with a series of mid-speed corners, most notably the dip at Westfield and Dingle Dell and the blind Sheene curve.
From there the track emerges from the left hand and cambered Stirlings Bend onto the short straight to Clearways and rejoins the Indy Circuit for Clark Curve with its uphill off-camber approach to the pit straight and the start/finish line. The British Rallycross Circuit at Brands Hatch was designed and constructed by four-times British Rallycross Champion Trevor Hopkins, it is 0.9 miles long and was completed around 1981. Unlike earlier rallycross courses at Brands Hatch, cars start on the startline veer right and downhill on the loose at Paddock Hill Bend. Through the left-right Esses at the bottom, the circuit rejoins the Indy Circuit to travel up and round Druids hairpin, before a 90-degree left through Langley's Gap and across the knife-edge, rejoining the Indy Circuit, but travelling anti-clockwise. From Cooper Straight, the cars back to Paddock. Brands Hatch was the name of a natural grassy hollow, shaped like an amphitheatre. Although the site was used as a military training ground, the fields belonging to Brands Farm were first used as a circuit by a group of Gravesend cyclists led by Ron Argent, with the permission of the local farmer and landowner, Harry White.
Using the natural contours of the land, many cyclists from around London practised and ran time trials on the dirt roads carved out by farm machinery. The first actual race on the circuit was held in 1926, over 4 miles between cyclists and cross-country runners. Within a few years, motorcyclists were using the circuit, laying out a three-quarter-mile anti-clockwise track in the valley, they saw the advantage of competing in a natural arena just a few hundred yards from the A20, with the passage of time, a kidney-shaped circuit came into use. The first motorcycle races were "very informal" with much of the organisation being done on the spot; the racing was on a straight strip where Cooper Straight came to be when the track was tarmacked. Brands Hatch remained in operation during the 1930s, but after being used as a military vehicle park and being subject to many bombing raids during World War II, it needed much work before it could become a professional racing circuit. In 1932, four local motorcycling clubs staged their first meeting that March.
Motorcycle racing resumed after World War II and in 1947, Joe Francis persuaded the BBC to televise a grass track meeting, the first motorcycle event to be televised on British TV. Following World War II, cinders were laid on the track of what was by known as Brands Hatch Stadium and motorcycle racing continued; that was until 1950 when the 500 Club managed to persuade Joe Francis, that the future for his stadium lay in car and motorcycle road racing. The group behind 500 c.c. single-seater racing cars was the 500 Club and it, together with the owners, invested the sum of £17,000 on a tarmac surface. Thus Brands Hatch was born as a motor racing venue, on 16 April 1950, the opening meeting was scheduled for the first purpose-built post-war racing circuit in England, approval having been given by the RAC following a demonstration by a handful of 500s in February. Amongst those giving the demonstration was a young Stirling Moss; the Half-Litre Car Club for 500 cc Formula 3 organised that first race on 16 April, with 7,000 spectators coming to witness these cars complete in 10 races.
The first victory went to a man, to become a legend in Formula 3, Don Parker. Before the year was out, fi
Rouen is a city on the River Seine in the north of France. It is the capital of the region of Normandy. One of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages, it was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries. The population of the metropolitan area at the 2011 census was 655,013, with the city proper having an estimated population of 111,557. People from Rouen are known as Rouennais. Rouen and its metropolitan area of 70 suburban communes form the Métropole Rouen Normandie, with 494,382 inhabitants at the 2010 census. In descending order of population, the largest of these suburbs are Sotteville-lès-Rouen, Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, Le Grand-Quevilly, Le Petit-Quevilly, Mont-Saint-Aignan, each with a population exceeding 20,000. Rouen was founded by the Gaulish tribe of the Veliocasses, who controlled a large area in the lower Seine valley.
They called. It was considered the second city of Gallia Lugdunensis after Lugdunum itself. Under the reorganization of Diocletian, Rouen was the chief city of the divided province Gallia Lugdunensis II and reached the apogee of its Roman development, with an amphitheatre and thermae of which foundations remain. In the 5th century, it became the seat of a bishopric and a capital of Merovingian Neustria. From their first incursion into the lower valley of the Seine in 841, the Normans overran Rouen. From 912, Rouen was the capital of the Duchy of Normandy and residence of the local dukes, until William the Conqueror moved his residence to Caen. In 1150, Rouen received its founding charter. During the 12th century, Rouen was the site of a yeshiva. At that time, about 6,000 Jews lived in the town. On June 24, 1204, King Philip II Augustus of France entered Rouen and definitively annexed Normandy to the French Kingdom, he demolished the Norman castle and replaced it with his own, the Château Bouvreuil, built on the site of the Gallo-Roman amphitheatre.
A textile industry developed based on wool imported from England, for which the cities of Flanders and Brabant were competitors, finding its market in the Champagne fairs. Rouen depended for its prosperity on the river traffic of the Seine, on which it enjoyed a monopoly that reached as far upstream as Paris. In the 14th century urban strife threatened the city: in 1291, the mayor was assassinated and noble residences in the city were pillaged. Philip IV reimposed order and suppressed the city's charter and the lucrative monopoly on river traffic, but he was quite willing to allow the Rouennais to repurchase their old liberties in 1294. In 1306, he decided to expel the Jewish community of Rouen numbering some five or six thousands. In 1389, another urban revolt of the underclass occurred, the Harelle, it was suppressed with the withdrawal of Rouen's river-traffic privileges once more. During the Hundred Years' War, on January 19, 1419, Rouen surrendered to Henry V of England, who annexed Normandy once again to the Plantagenet domains.
But Rouen did not go quietly: Alain Blanchard hung English prisoners from the walls, for which he was summarily executed. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen on May 30, 1431 in this city, where most inhabitants supported the duke of Burgundy, Joan of Arc's king enemy; the king of France Charles VII recaptured the town in 1449. During the German occupation, the Kriegsmarine had its headquarters located in a chateau on what is now the Rouen Business School; the city was damaged during World War II on D-day and its famed cathedral was destroyed by Allied bombs. Rouen is known for its Rouen Cathedral, with its Tour de Beurre financed by the sale of indulgences for the consumption of butter during Lent; the cathedral's gothic façade was the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet, some of which are exhibited in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. The Gros Horloge is an astronomical clock dating back to the 14th century, it is located in the Gros Horloge street. Other famous structures include Rouen Castle, whose keep is known as the tour Jeanne d'Arc, where Joan of Arc was brought in 1431 to be threatened with torture.
Rouen is noted for its surviving half-timbered buildings. There are many museums in Rouen: the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, an art museum with pictures of well-known painters such as Claude Monet and Géricault; the Jardin des Plantes de Rouen is a notable botanical garden once owned by Scottish banker John Law dated from 1840 in its present form. It was the site of Élisa Garnerin's parachute jump from a balloon in 1817. In the centre of the Place du Vieux Marché (the site of Joan of A
Silverstone Circuit is a motor racing circuit in England located next to the Northamptonshire villages of Silverstone and Whittlebury. The circuit straddles the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire border, with the current main circuit entry on the Buckinghamshire side; the Northamptonshire towns of Towcester and Brackley and Buckinghamshire town of Buckingham are close by, the nearest large towns are Northampton and Milton Keynes. Silverstone is the current home of the British Grand Prix, which it first hosted in 1948; the 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone was the first race in the newly created World Championship of Drivers. The race rotated between Silverstone and Brands Hatch from 1955 to 1986, but relocated permanently to Silverstone in 1987; the circuit hosts the British round of the MotoGP series. On 30 September 2004 British Racing Drivers' Club president Jackie Stewart announced that the British Grand Prix would not be included on the 2005 provisional race calendar and, if it were, would not occur at Silverstone.
However, on 9 December an agreement was reached with Formula One rights holder Bernie Ecclestone ensuring that the track would host the British Grand Prix until 2009 after which Donington Park would become the new host. However, the Donington Park leaseholders suffered economic problems resulting in the BRDC signing a 17-year deal with Ecclestone to hold the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Silverstone is built on the site of a World War II Royal Air Force bomber station, RAF Silverstone, which opened in 1943; the airfield's three runways, in classic WWII triangle format, lie within the outline of the present track. Silverstone was first used for motorsport by an'ad hoc' group of friends who set up an impromptu race in September 1947. One of their members, Maurice Geoghegan, lived in nearby Silverstone village and was aware that the airfield was deserted, he and eleven other drivers raced over a two-mile circuit, during the course of which Geoghegan himself ran over a sheep that had wandered onto the airfield.
The sheep was killed and the car written off, in the aftermath of this event the informal race became known as the Mutton Grand Prix. The next year the Royal Automobile Club took a lease on the airfield and set out a more formal racing circuit, their first two races were held on the runways themselves, with long straights separated by tight hairpin corners, the track demarcated by hay bales. However, for the 1949 International Trophy meeting, it was decided to switch to the perimeter track; this arrangement was used for the 1951 Grands Prix. In 1952 the start line was moved from the Farm Straight to the straight linking Woodcote and Copse corners, this layout remained unaltered for the following 38 years. For the 1975 meeting a chicane was introduced to try to tame speeds through Woodcote Corner, Bridge Corner was subtly rerouted in 1987; the track underwent a major redesign between the 1990 and 1991 races, transforming the ultra-fast track into a more technical track. The reshaped track's first Formula One race was won by Nigel Mansell in front of his home crowd.
On his victory lap back to the pits Mansell picked up stranded rival Ayrton Senna to give him a lift on his side-pod after his McLaren had run out of fuel on the final lap of the race. Following the deaths of Senna and fellow Grand Prix driver Roland Ratzenberger at Imola in 1994, many Grand Prix circuits were modified in order to reduce speed and increase driver safety; as a consequence of this the entry from Hangar Straight into Stowe Corner was modified in 1995 to make its entry less dangerous. In addition, the flat-out Abbey kink was modified to a chicane in just 19 days ready for the 1994 Grand Prix. Parts of the circuit, such as the starting grid, are 17 metres wide, complying with the latest safety guidelines. After a new pit building, the Silverstone Wing was completed in time for the 2011 British Grand Prix; the start of the track was relocated to between Abbey Corner. Flat out, the right-hander of Abbey leads into the left-hander of Farm before cars brake into the second-gear right-hander Village Corner.
The slower left-hander of the Loop comes after, leads into the flat-out left-hander of Aintree, before cars head down the DRS zone of the Wellington Straight, designed in 2010 to promote overtaking at the track. Turn 6, the left hander of Brooklands, is taken by drivers in second gear and leads into Luffield, another second-gear curve, a right-hand hairpin; the right-handed kink of Woodcote leads cars down the old pit straight, before the difficult sixth-gear right-hander of Copse, with a minimum speed of 175 mph in the dry for Formula One cars. The challenging complex of Maggotts and Chapel – a left–right–left–right–left complex with a minimum speed of 130 mph – leads cars down the 770-metre Hangar Straight with the fifth-gear right-hander of Stowe at the end; the fifteenth turn of the track, has a minimum speed of 125 mph and precedes a short straight, named Vale, which leads cars downhill towards the Club complex. Heavy braking is required for the left-hander of turn 16, understeer can be an issue for the next right-handers of turns 17 and 18, as cars tentatively accelerate round to the start–finish straight.
The fastest lap of the current circuit configuration was 1:25.892 recorded in qualifying for the 2018 British Grand Prix by Lewis Hamilton, while the official race lap record is 1:30.621 set by Lewis Hamilton at the 201
Yas Marina Circuit
The Yas Marina Circuit is the venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke, is situated on Yas Island, about 30 minutes from the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. Yas Marina is the second Formula One track in the Middle East, with the first being in Bahrain. A two-day GP2 Asia Series test was held to open the circuit, held a week before the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it hosted the opening event for the Australian V8 Supercars series, the Yas V8 400, in February 2010. Outside motorsport the circuit was used for the final stage of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour cycle race in 2015; the circuit has FIA Grade 1 license. The twenty-one corners twist through Yas Island off the Abu Dhabi coast, passing by the marina and through the Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi designed by New York-based architects Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote Architecture with a striking facade lighting design by Rogier van der Heide, winding its way through several long straights and tight corners.
The marina-based development includes a theme park, a water park, as well as residential areas and beaches. The circuit has five grandstand areas and part of its pit lane exit runs underneath the track, it houses a team building behind the pit building, Media Center, Dragster Track and VIP Tower. Additionally, one of the run-off areas runs underneath the West grandstand; the circuit was built by main contractor Cebarco-WCT WLL, under contract from developer Aldar Properties. Among the sub-contractors involved were KOH AH HING from Malaysia, as well as specialised subcontractors like Voltas, PKE-Siemens, Able-Middle East, Hamilton International and Bau Bickhardt to name a few; the circuit was constructed with a permanent lighting system provided by Musco Lighting, similar to that installed at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. Yas Marina Circuit is the largest permanent sports venue lighting project in the world; the surface of the track is made of graywacke aggregate, shipped to Abu Dhabi from a Bayston Hill quarry in Shropshire, England.
The surface material is acclaimed by circuit bosses and Formula One drivers for the high level of grip it offers. The same aggregate material is used at the Bahrain International Circuit for the Bahrain Grand Prix. On 7 October 2009, the circuit was granted final approval to hold Formula One races by the FIA. Bruno Senna was the first driver to complete a test run on the circuit. GP3 visited Abu Dhabi for the first time at the end of the 2013 season. After the first practice sessions at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the circuit was welcomed by the drivers, with Nico Rosberg commenting that every corner was'unique', while double World Champion Fernando Alonso echoed his sentiments, stating that it was enjoyable because there was always something to do. Force India's Adrian Sutil rated the circuit as being better than Formula One's other night race in Singapore as he felt there was too much light at Marina Bay. Not all of the drivers were complimentary, with Giancarlo Fisichella expressing a particular dislike of the pit exit, which dips under the main circuit by way of a tunnel.
Although the pit exit remained free of incidents for the early practice sessions, Fisichella claimed that it was both difficult and dangerous. Kimi Räikkönen notoriously gave his thoughts on the circuit, stating "the first few turns are quite good, but the rest of it is shit". After the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix the designer Hermann Tilke said that they were considering making changes to the track to present more overtaking opportunities. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula One List of Formula One circuits Yas Marina Circuit Herman Tilke – the track designer's page Abu Dhabi to stage 2009 F1 finale Yas Marina Circuit unveiled by Abu Dhabi Asymptote Architects Yas Marina Circuit on Google Maps Guide to Yas Marina Circuit 2018 F1 Grand Prix Yas Marina Circuit on Twitter
Baku City Circuit
The Baku City Circuit is a motor racing street circuit located in Baku, Azerbaijan constructed near Baku Boulevard. A lap of the circuit is 6.003 kilometres, making it the second-longest circuit on the Formula One calendar. The inaugural Formula One race at the circuit was the 2016 European Grand Prix and its support events. A year in 2017, the circuit held the inaugural Azerbaijan Grand Prix; the event is organised by Baku City Circuit Operation Company. In December 2013, Formula One President and CEO Bernie Ecclestone suggested that the race would be run in 2016 but said that because the Korean Grand Prix organisers were in breach of contract, it would be moved to 2015. However, in July 2014 it was announced that the race's debut would be delayed until 2016; the six kilometre, anti-clockwise layout of the circuit was designed by circuit architect Hermann Tilke. The circuit was planned to start adjacent to Azadliq Square loop around Government House before heading west along a 1 km straight to the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower.
Here, the track was planned to have a narrow 7.6 m uphill traversal and circle the Old City before opening up onto a 2.2 km stretch along Neftchilar Avenue back to the start line. The circuit was projected to be the fastest street circuit in the world, with a top speed close to 360 km/h and the second longest circuit on the current F1 calendar behind the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium; the 2016 European Grand Prix was the inaugural event held on the Baku City Circuit. The hosting of the event was controversial because of Azerbaijan's poor human rights record, with ongoing imprisonment of political and human rights activists and journalists and bloggers who have criticised the regime. Many retirements were expected in the Formula 1 Grand Prix after the carnage of the GP2 Series support races, where over half of the drivers crashed or retired, it therefore came as a surprise when the only retirements, of which there were four, came as a result of mechanical failures. Mercedes's Nico Rosberg dominated the Grand Prix after qualifying on pole position the day before the race while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Force India's Sergio Pérez finished second and third to join him on the podium.
Valtteri Bottas set a new unofficial Formula 1 top speed record in qualifying for the 2016 European Grand Prix when Williams claimed to have data showing him reaching 378 km/h, eclipsing the previous record of 372 km/h set in 2005 by Juan Pablo Montoya for McLaren while testing at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Pirelli found that 90% of the rear tyres used in free practice had been cut by the bolts securing kerbs to the ground not being drilled into the ground far enough, while Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg expressed concern over the lack of run-off areas which would be dangerous in the case of an incident such as a high speed puncture or mechanical failure. Valtteri Bottas was forced to miss the whole of Free Practice 3 when a drain cover came loose and caused significant damage to his Williams FW38. Many drivers praised the circuit for the challenge offered by its mixture of long straights, slow technical sections and no margin for error due to the proximity of the walls; the inaugural Azerbaijan Grand Prix was held at the circuit on 25 June 2017.
The race was a much more chaotic and exciting event than the previous year's race, was regarded as the best race of 2017. The race was notable for Sebastian Vettel deliberately crashing into Lewis Hamilton after accusing Hamilton of brake-checking him under the Safety Car. Vettel received a stop-go penalty for his actions finishing 4th, whilst Hamilton's headrest became loose while he was leading the race, which forced him to pit and finish in 5th. Daniel Ricciardo won the race for Red Bull, with Valtteri Bottas finishing second despite being a lap down and last in the early stages of the race after colliding with Kimi Räikkönen on lap 1, Lance Stroll taking a surprise podium for Williams despite being passed by Bottas on the run to the finish line; the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix was held in April 2018, brought forward to avoid clashing with the celebrations for the centenary of the Azerbaijan republic. The race saw similar amounts of chaos and drama as the previous year's race, the most notable moments being the collision between Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen on Lap 40, putting both out of the race, Romain Grosjean crashing behind the resultant Safety Car period.
Valtteri Bottas had taken the lead from Sebastian Vettel after pitting behind the Safety Car, Vettel locked up whilst trying to overtake Bottas on the Safety Car restart, dropping him behind Hamilton, Räikkönen and Sergio Pérez into 5th place. Bottas, suffered a puncture the lap after the restart and was forced to retire from the race, meaning that Lewis Hamilton took the race victory, ahead of Räikkönen in second and Pérez in 3rd. Lap record: Sebastian Vettel – 1:43.441 Lap record: Lewis Hamilton – 1:40.593 European Grand Prix Azerbaijan Grand Prix Official website Baku City Circuit Guide
2019 Formula One World Championship
The 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship is an ongoing motor racing championship for Formula One cars which marks the 70th running of the Formula One World Championship. It is recognised by the governing body of international motorsport, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, as the highest class of competition for open-wheel racing cars. Starting in March and ending in December, the championship is being contested over 21 Grands Prix. Drivers are competing for the title of World Drivers' Champion, teams for the World Constructors' Champion; the 2019 championship is scheduled to see the running of the 1000th World Championship race, in China. Lewis Hamilton is the defending World Drivers' Champion, after winning his fifth championship title in the previous season, Mercedes are the defending World Constructors' Champions, after winning their fifth consecutive championship. Ten teams, with two drivers each, are competing in the championship in 2019. Red Bull Racing switched to Honda engines.
In doing so, Red Bull Racing joined sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso in using Honda power after Scuderia Toro Rosso joined the Japanese manufacturer in 2018. Neither team will be recognised as Honda's official factory team under the terms of the agreement. Racing Point F1 Team completed their transition from the Racing Point Force India identity that they used after their purchase of the assets of Sahara Force India in August 2018. Sauber was renamed Alfa Romeo Racing in an extension of the sponsorship deal that began in 2018; the Sauber name will disappear from the Formula One grid, but will still be used in the Formula 2 and Formula 3 support categories. The lead up to the 2019 championship saw several driver changes. Daniel Ricciardo moved to Renault after five years with Red Bull Racing, replacing Carlos Sainz Jr.. Ricciardo's drive at Red Bull Racing has been taken by Pierre Gasly, promoted from Scuderia Toro Rosso, the team with whom he made his first Formula One start in 2017. Daniil Kvyat rejoined Toro Rosso after last racing for the team in 2017.
He was partnered with Formula 2 driver Alexander Albon. Albon subsequently became only the second Thai driver to race in Formula One after Prince Bira. Sainz, on loan to Renault in 2018, did not have his deal with Red Bull renewed and subsequently moved to McLaren to replace two-time World Drivers' Champion Fernando Alonso, who had earlier announced that he would not compete in Formula One in 2019. Sainz was partnered with 2017 European Formula 3 champion Lando Norris. Stoffel Vandoorne left McLaren after the 2018 season to race in Formula E with the Mercedes-affiliated HWA Team. Charles Leclerc left Sauber after one year with the team, joining Ferrari where he took the place of Kimi Räikkönen. Räikkönen returned to Sauber, now renamed Alfa Romeo, with whom he had started his career in 2001, he was partnered with Antonio Giovinazzi, who made two starts for the team when he replaced the injured Pascal Wehrlein in 2017. Marcus Ericsson will race in the IndyCar Series in 2019 with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports but will remain at Alfa Romeo as third driver and brand ambassador.
Reigning Formula 2 champion George Russell joined Williams. Robert Kubica made his return to Formula 1. Kubica's return comes after an eight-year absence brought on by a near-fatal rally car crash in 2011 that left him with serious arm injuries. Esteban Ocon joined Mercedes as reserve driver. Ocon will share the role of simulator driver with Stoffel Vandoorne. Ocon has been replaced at Racing Point by Lance Stroll; the following twenty-one Grands Prix are due to be run as part of the 2019 World Championship. Each race is run over a minimum number of laps; the Mexican and United States Grands Prix swapped places on the calendar so that the United States round follows the Mexican Grand Prix. Race Director and Technical Delegate Charlie Whiting died unexpectedly just days before the opening race of the season in Australia. Deputy Race Director Michael Masi was named as his temporary successor. In a bid to improve overtaking, teams agreed to a series of aerodynamic changes that affect the profile of the front and rear wings.
The front wing endplates were reshaped to alter the airflow across the car and reduce the effects of aerodynamic turbulence, winglets above the main plane of the front wing have been banned. The slot in the rear wing was widened; the agreed-upon changes were drawn from the findings of a working group set up to investigate potential changes to the technical regulations in preparation for the 2021 championship. Parts of the technical regulations governing bodywork were rewritten in a bid to promote sponsorship opportunities for teams; the agreed changes are to mandate smaller bargeboards and limit aerodynamic development of the rear wing endplates to create more space for sponsor logos. The changes were introduced as a response to falling revenues amid teams and the struggles of smaller teams to secure new sponsors; the mandated maximum fuel levels were raised from 105 kg to 110 kg so as to minimise the need for drivers to conserve fuel during a race. Driver weights are no longer considered; this change was agreed to following concerns that drivers were being forced to lose dangerous amounts of weight in order to offset the additional weight of the post-2014 generation of turbo-hybrid engines.
Drivers who weigh less than 80 kg will have to make up this weight with ballast, loc
Suzuka International Racing Course
The Suzuka International Racing Course is a motorsport race track located in Ino, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture and operated by Mobilityland Corporation, a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co, Ltd. It has a capacity of 155,000. Soichiro Honda decided to develop a new permanent circuit in Mie prefecture in the late 1950s. Designed as a Honda test track in 1962 by Dutchman John "Hans" Hugenholtz, Suzuka is one of few circuits in the world to have a "figure eight" layout, with the 1.2 km back straight passing over the front section by means of an overpass. The circuit has been modified four times: In 1983 a chicane was put at the last curve to slow the cars into the pit straight and the Degner curve was made into two corners instead of one long curve. Following the death of Daijiro Kato at the 2003 Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix, Suzuka reconfigured the motorcycle variant of what is now known as the Hitachi Automotive Systems Chicane before the final turn, added a second chicane, between the hairpin and 200R.
The circuit can be used in five configurations. The "east" portion of the course consists of the pit straight to the first half of the Dunlop curve, before leading back to the pit straight via a tight right-hander; the "west" course is made up of the other part including the crossover bridge. The chicane between the hairpin and 200R separates the west and full course sections between cars and motorcycles; the Degner curve was named in honour of Ernst Degner after he crashed his factory Suzuki 50 there during Suzuka's inaugural All Japan Championship Road Race meeting on 3 November 1962. Suzuka touted by F1 drivers and fans as one of the most enjoyed, is one of the oldest remaining tracks of the Formula One World Championship, so has a long history of races as venue of the Japanese Grand Prix since 1987, its traditional role as one of the last Grands Prix of the season means numerous world championships have been decided at the track. Suzuka was dropped from the Formula One calendar for the 2007 and 2008 seasons in favour of the Toyota-owned Fuji Speedway, after the latter underwent a transformation and redesign by circuit designer Hermann Tilke.
Suzuka and Fuji were to alternate hosting the Japanese Grand Prix from 2009. However, after Fuji announced in July 2009 that it would no longer be part of the F1 calendar, Suzuka signed a deal to host the Japanese Grand Prix in 2009, 2010 and 2011; the circuit closed for a year in order for the renovation to make it F1-compliant for 2009, with the last major event held on November 18, 2007, although some annual events were still held. The track held a re-opening day on April 12, 2009. Suzuka hosts other motorsport events including the Suzuka 1000 km endurance race. A part of multiple GT racing series including the now defunct group C class of the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship, the Suzuka 1000 km as of 2006 is now a points round of the Super GT Series, is the only race of such length in that series. In 2010, the GT500 pole position time was 1:55.237. In 2007, the GT300 pole position time was 2:06.838. Another major motorsport event is the Suzuka 8 Hours for motorcycles, run since 1978.
This event attracts big name riders and with the exception of 2005, due to the importance of the major manufacturers' involvement, the FIM ensures that no motorcycle races clash on the date. NASCAR organized the NASCAR Thunder 100, a pair of exhibition 100-lap races on the east circuit, a 1.4 miles layout which utilizes the pit straight and esses, before rejoining the main circuit near the Casio triangle. The cars were Sprint Cup Series and Camping World West Series cars and the field was by invitation for the two races, run after the 1996 and 1997 seasons; the 1996 event was marred by tragedy when during practice, pace car driver Elmo Langley died of a heart attack in the Chevrolet Corvette pace car at the esses during an evaluation run. The pole position speed was 83.079 miles per hour. During qualifying for the 1997 race, rain caused Goodyear to use rain tires on Sprint Cup cars for the first time in the modern era, it was announced on June 21, 2010 that the east section of the Suzuka Circuit would host the Japan round of the 2011 WTCC season instead of the Okayama International Circuit.
At the 2012 event, the pole position time was 52.885 seconds, for an average speed of 94.875 miles per hour. Following two major accidents in 2002 and 2003, one of the main issues in safety has been at the corner 130R. In 2002, Toyota F1 driver Allan McNish suffered a high-speed crash through the bump, which sent him through a metal fence. Track officials revised the 130R, redesigning it as a double-apex section, one with an 85 metres radius, a second featuring a 340 metres radius, leading to a much closer Casio triangle, with the chicane becoming a "bus stop" type for motorcycles. However, the problem continued for the new revised section. During the 2003 MotoGP Grand Prix of Japan, the track's first major event since the revisions, MotoGP rider Daijiro Kato was killed when he crashed in the new section, on his way to the brak