Start, Valencia, 2012

2013 calendar to have 20 races but no Valencia

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

Start, Valencia, 2012In the round-up: the 2013 F1 calendar will retain 20 races but lose Valencia and is likely to swap the troubled Nurburgring for the Hockenheimring.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Tobias Gruner via Twitter

“[Bernie] Ecclestone just visited the press room. He suggested next year’s calender has 20 races. No Valencia. Hockenheim instead of Nurburgring.”

Q&A with Red Bull?s Helmut Marko (F1)

“What you didn?t read anywhere is that the FIA stewards can only impose this 20-second penalty – there is nothing else in the regulations. I would say that it would make a lot of sense to differentiate this penalty into five, ten and 20 seconds. Not all offences are the same, but right now they tar them all with the same brush – and I don?t think that this is correct.”

Sixth Better Than Expected, Says Alonso (Speed)

“Second in the championship is (Mark) Webber, and he starts 11th, so hopefully we can keep him behind the whole race.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I just hope for once we have a good start” (Adam Cooper)

“Tyre strategy will be important tomorrow. Degradation will be interesting. I just hope for once we have a good start ?ǣ that?s what I hope for the beginning.”

Red Bull in suspension rules row (BBC)

“Asked why the suspension could be changed by hand when the rules state specifically that must not be possible, [Christian] Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, said: ‘There are a lot of parts that are changed manually on the car, but a tool was used.'”

Ted’s Notebook – Qualifying (Sky)

More on the Red Bull ride height row (video is UK-only).

Hungarian GP – Conference 3 (FIA)

Sebastian Vettel: “I think the impact in terms of set-up that we see these days is way less than compared to the past, so something like a real rain set-up doesn’t exist any more these days.”

Alonso ‘to credit for Ferrari form’ (Autosport)

Ferrari’s Hirohide Hamashima: “I get that feeling in meetings. Fernando is quiet, but he acts very correctly. He gives good comment but the expression is a bit different.”

Hungary crash has not altered Massa’s drive for success (The National)

“I have a good chance [of staying at Ferrari], but we will have to wait and see how things are going to be. At the end of the day, results on track are what counts.”

Historic 150th Pole Position reached in Hungary (McLaren)

Martin Whitmarsh: “My first race with the team was in 1990. It was the US Grand Prix in Phoenix, an unusual place to hold a Formula 1 race ?ǣ but it was a very successful event for the team. Gerhard Berger took pole position on his McLaren debut, outclassing Ayrton Senna ?ǣ which was a great achievement.”

Comment of the day

AndrewTanner on some of the results from qualifying:

So, so disappointed with Mercedes. Don?t know what happened with them. They have all the ingredients but seriously lack execution.

Pic beat Glock so that?s good for him and a nice change to see Vergne outside the bottom 7, only to be replaced with his teammate!

I expect Webber will be kind to his tyres and make up for today. Grosjean and Raikkonen have their best chance to score 25 points tomorrow and I hope they deliver, just as we?re getting some order together they could mess it up a bit!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Kevin and Mandev!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Fernando Alonso who is 31 today! Should win today’s race, it would also be his 31st Grand Prix victory.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 53 comments on “2013 calendar to have 20 races but no Valencia”

    1. Never been a fan of valencia and nurburgring and on balance,i couldn`t agree more with these 2 being dropped from the calender for 2013.

      1. For me it’s one those good news/bad news things.

    2. Horner played down the string of problems surrounding his team.

      “I think it is the consequence of being competitive,” he said, “when others are complaining [about] the reason the car is quick, and that is the case here.”

      Or it’s a consequence of flaunting the rule book. Ferrari, McLaren and Lotus have all proven to be consistently competitive, and they haven’t been dragged to the stewards once. This is the third time in six races that Red Bull have been asked to explain themselves in no uncertain terms. And they’re not being asked to do this because the other teams are conspiring beind their backs to rob the team of their advantage – Red Bull are being asked to explain themselves because they keep chasing loopholes in the regulations and putting questionable parts on their cars. I could perhaps understand Horner’s point if it was only the one time, since once is an accident. And I could even suspend my disbelief long enough to believe that being called to the stewards twice is simply coincidence. But three times? A pattern is beginning to emerge. Red Bull are openly flaunting the rules, and then trying to make out that there is a conspiracy among the other teams because the know they can’t compete with Red Bull (even though the recent run of races proves to the contrary).

      I’m surprised Christian Horner hasn’t claimed that his dog ate the rulebook yet.

      1. Well said.

      2. But it’s the teams job to bend the rules as much as possible; the rules effectively act to restrict performance, and by bending the rules, more performance can be found.
        However, they have never once been found to be in confliction with the regs.
        Therefore, the parts shouldn’t be deemed questionable; it’s just the technical team haveing a very clever rule interpreter.

        1. There is a difference between the letter and the spirit of the rules. While Red Bull may not have broken the letter of the rules, they have repeatedly shown a complete disregard for the spirit of the rules. Combine that with repeated allegations that they are ignoring the Resource Restriction Agreement, their refusal to sign any piece of regulation that would give the FIA the power to police the RRA, their aggressive tactics in trying to get others’ parts banned and their constant denials about improper behaviour with regards to the rules and one has to wonder about their intentions. You can pile coincidence upon coincidence, but before long, the whole sorry mess is going to unravel.

          The rules are not there to be bent. They are there to be observed. I personally think that Red Bull should be suspended from competition until the FIA can go over their car with a fine-toothed comb. The team might not have broken any rules, but they are in trouble with the rule book far to often for me to believe they can be trusted to build a proper car.

          1. People calling for Red Bull to be suspended just sound like sore losers. Because a team are better at interpreting the rules than other teams they should be banned? Laughable.

    3. A month ago, if you told me Valencia was going to be dropped, I would have been jumping for joy. But with everything that happened at this years race, it’s gonna be tough. No matter how unlikely it is we’ll see another race like that, it gave me some sweet memories :)

      1. A month ago, if you told me Valencia was going to be dropped, I would have been jumping for joy.

        It’s not being dropped. It’s being alternated. The European Grand Prix will be discontinued, and Barcelona will share the Spanish Grand Prix with Valencia.

        No matter how unlikely it is we’ll see another race like that, it gave me some sweet memories

        Then maybe it’s best that the race stops now, so that future races can’t sully the memory of the 2012 Grand Prix.

        But again, it’s being alternated – not dropped completely.

        1. What makes you think it is being alternated with Barcelona?

        2. @prisoner-monkeys Ah yes, my mistake there. You made a good point there as well, let the 2012 Grand Prix be a pseudo-swan song for the European Grand Prix.

    4. God Valencia is out. Even if this year’s race was spectacular, it’s still a dreadful track.

      Sad Nurburgring doesn’t return. It’s a great track and I like it a lot more than Hockenheim… But well, you can’t have them all.

    5. The problem is though, Marko, Vettel and the team were fully aware that an advantage had been taken and simply decided to take a risk and hold the position. The penalty is there, however harsh you think it is, to ensure the same thing won’t be done again. If the FIA had just swapped the positions, or given a meagre time penalty that barely had any effect on Vettel’s finishing position, then no lesson would really be learned.

      On the potential loss of Valencia and Nurburgring, I’m upset about one and not so bothered about the other. Valencia, while producing a cracking race this year, has all but failed to deliver exciting ones on a regular basis. Nurburgring is one of my favourites on the calender and almost always produces a properly exciting show, so it would be a real shame to see it go.

      1. The 20 second penalty is there for a reason- it replaces a drive through. If the event had happened in the middle of the race, with Vettel moving ahead like he didn’t and not compensating by dropping back again, he would have received a drive through. To give him a 5 second or 10 second penalty would therefore be treating the case differently just because it happened at the end of the race, and that would be wrong. Obviously compensations do have to made because it is at the end of the race- but not by the stewards. Whereas normally the teams have plenty of time to contact the stewards and check if a move is fair, they do not have that time at the end of the race. So it is up to the teams to be extra cautious and ensure they give a place back if they suspect a move to be illegal. The stewards have no duty to give compensations to teams just because they didn’t take the relevant precautions. It is already a service that the stewards are so communicative with the teams regarding such moves during the races. Also, your point about it being a punishment and deterrent as much as justice is incredibly valid.

        1. with Vettel moving ahead like he didn’t

          Obviously should be



        2. +2

          The other point is that a five second penalty – ie just swopping the places back – would make breaking the rules this way risk free. You either don’t get the penalty & benefit from an illegal move, or even if you get penalised, you don’t lose anything.

        3. But at Hockenheim, a drive through apparantly equates to 12seconds or so

          1. I’d have thought that 12 sounds too short for a drive through. But regardless of whether it is or not, you’re right that the one fault with the rule is that it doesn’t take into account how this varies between circuits- or you could argue that actually the fixed time penalty is better, but giving drive throughs during a race is unfair because some people will be penalised worse than others depending on which circuit they’re at.

    6. Not all offences are the same, but right now they tar them all with the same brush – and I don’t think that this is correct.

      So what’s the other option? analysing each incident exclusively?

      That’s both impractical and a serious waste of time. Don’t go off the track to gain an advantage. Period. It’s clear, you cannot go off the track and benefit from it. It’s bad enough that FIA turned their eyes away for year after year, so you can’t really complain about them doing the right thing for once!

      1. There are a few permutations and combinations that spring to mind here.

        We have Vettel getting penalised because he had to go outside the limits of the circuit to complete the pass. That’s fair enough, and totally deserving of a penalty. But what if the situation played out in such a way that Vettel had already completed the pass on Button, but Button forced him beyond the limits of the circuit as Vettel attempted to move back over onto the racing line because the alternative would be a collision? Sure, it’s unlikely to happen, but Red Bull have excelled this year in finding things in the rules that are unlikely to happen and then using them to their advantage.

        Although one suspects that Marko’s outburst is an attempt to deflect attention away from Red Bull’s engine mapping and ride height adjustments by starting a “serious” debate about penalties for venturing off the track. Although he is overlooking the way the two most high-profile incidents of off-track excusrions both involved Vettel. There was this incident in Germany, of course, but the rule was first introduced at the Korean Grand Prix last year when Vettel used the piece of road connecting turns 4 and 6 during qualifying. I believe he was trying to get back to the pits sooner at the end of a qualifying period, though he denied it at the time (and he took it so slowly that even if this was his intention, he would have saved all of two seconds).

      2. I think they should make it a simple hard and fast rule. If at any point you have all 4 wheels off track, you must ensure you do not set a PB sector time or gain a position. If you go all 4 wheels off the track more than 5 times in a race, you should get a drive through. Drivers need to start respecting the white lines as if they are spike strips. I’m fed up of their loose attitudes towards track limits.

    7. Apparently, really nobody knows that it has always been in the rules that stewards can give any punishment they want for offences. So 5 seconds was always possible.

      Then again, it has been altered one or two years ago, to make it more clear that there are other options – and still we only get to see the good ol’ drive through / stop and go penalty.

      Probably because the offences warrant the penalty. The only time I think 5 secs would have been fair, was when Schumacher overtook Alonso after the Monaco safetycar-line, when the rules weren’t 100% clear.

      1. I haven’t seen a stop and go for ages thinking about it. Anybody know when the last one was given?

        1. 2008, Singapore I think. Kubica got one that year to.

        2. @gronrie There were a few last year at Silverstone, because the pit lane was so short, and I think Buemi had one at Sepang because he broke the speed limit by quite a long way.

    8. So does anyone know about the viability of holding the German GP at Hockenheim every year? I know the point of alternating with the Nurburgring was for financial reasons, to ensure that each venue only had to pay a fee every other year. Now that it looks like the Nurburgring won’t be able to host it for the forseeable future, will Hockenheim be able to afford the fees every year, or would it be possible that the German GP is dropped from the calendar?

      1. Bernie has said that the German Grand Prix is important to the calendar. And he does have a point – there are five German drivers on the grid at the moment, and Mercedes have both a works team and engine supply deals up and down the grid. If he’s willing to cut South Korea a whole lot of slack after just two years and no other presence in the sport (though I personally think the whole thing is an attempt to lure Hyundai into the championship), he may just do the same for Germany. After all, he has said that he is talking with the organisers of the race at the Nurburgring to try and find a solution to their financial problems, and he has every intention of seeing the 2013 German Grand Prix held there. That’s probably not going to happen without a bit of leniency on his side of the deal.

        The irony of all this is that people accused Bernie of improprietary when trying to re-establish the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, given that he owns the circuit. But one of the ideas to save the Nurburgring involves Bernie buying the circuit – and now there are accusations of nobility being thrown around.

      2. They recently said they has will to host GP every year if asked. for sure Bernie asked them…

    9. Well, Valencia definitely bowed out of F1 with a bang!
      I guess the memory of Fernando jumping with the Spanish crowds and laying the flag on the tarmac is a fitting end to the track.

      Good bye Valencia, thanks for the memories but you will not be missed.

      1. Aren’t Catalunya and Valencia alternating?

        1. I thought there were too….

    10. Horners comment about the ride height is mighty strange. If you can change ride height by hand then you broke the rules, period. Will there be another quote unquote clarification, I.e. rbr walks? Its one thing when you push the limits to innovate. This is not that thing.

    11. Miserable news all around, then — at least, for me. I consider Nurburgring to be in the top 5, and Hockenheim the bottom 5. Valencia somewhere between the two.

      Hopefully Bernie’s just babbling aimlessly, as he often does.

    12. Hey Keith, this might be the wrong place to ask but what happened to the mid-term drivers’ ranking feature?
      We are 10 races old in this 20-race championship after all.

      1. Did it occur to you that maybe Keith is still writing it? There are 12 teams and 24 drivers this year, so writing it is going to be a big task – even before you take into account the way the Hungarian Grand Prix is one week after Hockenheim, providing coverage of all the technical developments since Red Bull were referred to the stewards, plus all of the usual features of the blog like the round-ups and free practice/qualifying details and any other commitments – like the UniBet column – that Keith might have.

      2. I think/hope he’ll do it during the Summer break. After all, there were only 6 days between Germany and Hungary so it’d be rather silly to try and make an entire drivers article for 24 drivers in such a short time.

      3. It’ll be done in the summer break. There’s no way I could have got it done between races on consecutive weekends.

        1. Keith, are you going to ask us for our opinion on the F1 forum before making the articles?

    13. Valencia out of F1 is good news for me, for two reasons:

      1) Except this year, the rest of the races have been very boring.
      2) I will not have to put some of my Taxes in this ruinous event.

      1. Being dutch, I can only agree :-/

    14. I still think that Valencia is a circuit with more potential than Barcelona. They need to revise some of the unnessecary chicanes. If I could choose only to keep the Spanish GP at one track only, it’d be Valencia without any second thoughts.

      Ah, I know most of the races there have been processional, but last years race was something that will go down in history books. Thanks for that one, Valencia.

    15. What is happening with the Belgian/French Grand Prix negotiations? If I remember correctly it was to alternate between Paul Riccard & Spa Francorchamps as of next year.
      I’m guessing that Valencia may be giving way for either the New York GP or another European.

      1. The original deal with the French was for the race to take place at Paul Ricard. When the Socialists got into power, Bernie had to start over. Things were complicated by the way the Socialists want the race to take place at Magny-Cours. While the Belgians were open to an event-sharing arrangement, with the French are taking their time the organisers at Spa lost interest in hosting the race every other year and decided to sign a yearly contract with Bernie.

        Whether or not they have the money to see the contract out is open to debate.

    16. “What you didn’t read anywhere is that the FIA stewards can only impose this 20-second penalty – there is nothing else in the regulations. I would say that it would make a lot of sense to differentiate this penalty into five, ten and 20 seconds. Not all offences are the same, but right now they tar them all with the same brush – and I don’t think that this is correct.”

      Maybe Marko has a point, but whatever value it might have is lost in a sea of scepticism – would he be saying the same thing if Webber had been the one to pick up the penalty?

      1. He would of said something along the lines of “Mark should of stayed on the track and it wouldn’t of happened”

    17. Hockenheim instead of Nurburgring.

      But only if the Nurburgring’s financial issues cannot be resolved.

      1. Wasn’t Bernie going to buy the Nurburgring? I guess that wouldn’t work, he can’t really charge himself a fee for hosting it can he?

    18. I like the calendar rumours.

      Valencia is boring IMO, a never-having-a-proper-straight type of industrial harbor. The only interesting features are the pit building and the bridge.

      Also, the Nürburgring is a soulless track, not just compared to the Nordschleife, but also, compared to the post-2002 Hockenheimring – the latter offers the classic Motodrom besides a good sequence of corners after the hairpin, which offer excellent multi-corner overtaking moves. The former has no unique feature, no character.

    19. Keeping an eye on Webber backfired some time ago, so I don’t think sticking to one rival is such a good idea.

      1. I agree, Alonso shouldn’t consider Webber as a contender as RedBull would rather throw away the WDC than see Mark win over their golden boy Sebastian. The last races of 2010 clearly proved it. The focus should be only on the rival No1s Vettel and Hamilton.

    20. Oh, I got COTD, thank you @keithcollantine :D

      Must admit, I’m a little disappointed about Valencia, if it’s true. I do like the circuit, I think the final sector is superb. However, there has to be more to it than that. However, if we’re losing Valencia that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re losing the European GP, right? What will replace it?

      The ride-height issue for the RB8 is a funny one, why has it only come to light now? Seems rather unprofessional for the FIA to bring it to light if no action was taken. Where’s the proof of this supposed adjustable ride-height, by hand?

    Comments are closed.