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GP Week : Issue 36
or control. That the FIA will now make the stewarding process open and transparent for 2009 is a clear move in the right direction But so much for the doom and gloom of politics. There were new circuits on which to hold races, hurrah! Valencia was a let-down, a barren wasteland in the middle of a container port, while Singapore was a triumph. F1 at night was a huge success and everyone who was there fell in love with the concept. It won’t work everywhere, but Singapore was the perfect city for an all-nighter. The unveiling of Abu Dhabi as the final round for 2009 was met with universal approval from a circuit perspective, but one feels we’ll miss the buzz of Brazil … and, for that matter Canada, taken from the calendar for next year along with France. The British Grand Prix was told it would have a new home at Donington Park from 2010, and that if the new venue wasn’t up to scratch, it too would be off the calendar. In retrospect, then, while 2008 gave us much to talk about from a sporting and political angle, it has been a year in which Formula 1 took its first major steps towards the future. In politically and financially uncertain times, the sport started laying the foundation stones for its next generation. Technical and sporting regulations will get an overhaul in 2009, and in 2008 the new vision of Formula 1 started to take shape. At its forefront stands a new generation of drivers, who have begun to make their impact on the sport, driving with aggression, finesse and pure unbridled passion. Led by the youngest ever World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, they are the ones who will forge the future of Formula 1. And a thrilling show it promises to be. 36