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GP Week : Issue 168
w BRIEFLY » The great and the good of Formula One were in no doubt that the Singapore Grand Prix should feature some form of tribute to the late Professor Sid Watkins, who passed away on 12 September. But there was a difference of opinion when it came to the best way to commemorate F1’s medical man, with the FIA pushing for a minute’s applause in his honour, while FOM preferred a minute’s silence. In the end, Prof was celebrated with a minute’s silence on the grid, with all 24 drivers and a group of senior team personnel gathering behind the Safety Car to pay their respects to the man who was so instrumental in making Formula One the relatively safe sport it has become in the modern era. » The Marussia Young Driver Programme has a new graduate, with the news that Max Chilton will be the Marussia F1 team’s reserve driver for the remainder of the 2012 season. Chilton, who races for the Marussia Carlin GP2 team, has extra time on his hands now that the GP2 season has come to an end. “I’m delighted to be given this fantastic opportunity to be part of the Marussia F1 Team for the remainder of the 2012 season,” Chilton said. “My experience with the team at Silverstone for the Young Driver Test was a great taste of how F1 operates, and I’m so excited to be able to extend that into a proper working relationship as Reserve Driver at the remaining F1 events this year. I feel like my racing has really matured this season and to now be able to combine that with real insight into the engineering activities of an F1 team, and the level of preparation required of an F1 driver, really moves my career onto the next level. I’d like to thank the team once again for this opportunity.” F1 >>> NEWS After much speculation, the provisional 2013 Formula One calendar was this weekend leaked to the press ahead of next week’s World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris. Those who were shown early copies of the calendar were warned that some changes were to be expected before the WMSC ratified the official calendar during December’s meeting, at which point the majority of dates will be set in stone. This draft calendar currently shows question marks over three races: New Jersey, Germany, and South Korea. The question marks surrounding the New Jersey race are only to be expected. As 2013 will be the circuit’s first appearance on the F1 calendar, the date cannot be confirmed until the track has been homologated by the FIA, something that will not happen until sixty days before the grand prix is due to take place. The German Grand Prix will take place in 2013, but it is not yet confirmed whether the host circuit will be Hockenheim or the Nurburgring. While it is the Ring’s turn to play host in the German alternation deal, current financial and legal issues surrounding tenants and contract holders Nurburgring Automotive GmbH mean that the race could revert to Hockenheim should the Ring become unviable. The final race to be marked as up in the air is the Korean Grand Prix at Yeongam, but for the past few weeks the paddock jungle drums have been beating with the news that a deal has been reached with the race organisers which will see Korea remain on the calendar for several years to come. But the point of real interest on the provisional calendar is the three- week break between Silverstone and Germany. The reasoning behind the gap is currently unclear. There are some who believe that the space is being left vacant for a 21st race – the rebooted French Grand Prix – while others posit an in-season test could fill the gap. It is entirely possible that, with his comments in the Monza paddock two weeks ago, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo foreshadowed this summer break when he said that Formula One was shooting itself in the foot by holding races on sunny summer afternoons when the world at large would rather be on the beach. PROVISIONAL 2013 F1 CALENDAR LEAKED 2013 PROVISIONAL F1 CALENDAR: 17 March Australia 24 March Malaysia 14 April China 21 April Bahrain 12 May Barcelona 26 May Monaco 9 June Canada 16 June New Jersey 30 June Silverstone 21 July Germany 28 July Hungary 1 September Spa 8 September Monza 22 September Singapore 6 October Suzuka 13 October South Korea 27 October India 3 November Abu Dhabi 17 November Austin 24 November Interlagos 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: