A redecorated sporting bandwagon, complete with a roaring if not yet rampant Ferrari and a movie series on Netflix, embarks next weekend on an extended season of change and challenge when the Australian Grand Prix opens the 70th running of the Formula One World Championship.
Two years on from Liberty Media's takeover, and 25 since the death of Ayrton Senna, defending five-time champion Lewis Hamilton goes into F1's first race in Melbourne expecting to be out-performed by his greatest rival Sebastian Vettel.
It may not be his or the sport's only concern.
The prospect of a messy 'no-deal Brexit' could upset travel logistics for the seven teams based in Britain while new technical regulations and tyres, widespread team changes including a new boss at Ferrari, the arrival of three rookies and a bloated calendar of 21 races will deliver a daunting test of durability and, maybe at times, dignity.
The season will not end until the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 1 December, the latest planned finish since 1963 when Jim Clark took the title for champions Lotus, winning seven of the 10 races run from Monaco in May to South Africa at Christmas.
Here’s the schedule for the upcoming Formula 1 season, which begins in Melbourne this weekend:
Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne: 15-17 March
Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, 29-31 March
Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, 12-14 April
Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku, 26-28 April
Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, 10-12 May
Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, 25-26 May
Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, 7-9 June
French Grand Prix, Le Castellet, 21-23 June
Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, 28-30 June
British Grand Prix, Silverstone, 12-14 July
German Grand Prix, Hockenheim, 26-28 July
Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest, 2-4 August
Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps, 30 August-1 September
Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 6-8 September
Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay, 20-22 September
Russian Grand Prix, Sochi, 27-29 September
Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, 11-13 October
Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, 25-27 October
United States Grand Prix, Austin, 1-3 November
Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, 15-17 November
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina, 29 November-1 December
(With inputs from Agence France-Presse)
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Mar 16, 2019 13:45:49 IST