New And Returning Circuits

Friday 21-February-2014 06:12

The media focus on the new F1 engines for the 2014 season has been understandable, but fans also have three circuits to look forward to which weren't used last year.

Changes in regulations, both technical and otherwise, are expected to combine with some unfamiliar circuits to produce a shake-up for the sport - and that's got to be good news for spectators, if not necessarily for some drivers.

The unpredictability of the new season (unless you're convinced that Vettel is going to walk away with it again) means that anyone wanting to have a small wager should be careful where they're putting their money. Make sure you're up to date with betting news, and that you know where to pick up the most generous bonuses before you lay out any money!

Spielberg in south-central Austria is home to the first of our three circuits for 2014, the Red Bull Ring. Formerly the Österreichring, the circuit was last used for F1 in 2003. Since then, major rebuilding works have taken place. Michael Schumacher holds the lap record for the 2.688 mile course, set in 2003. There were reports a couple of years ago that there might not be enough hotel rooms in the area to cope with F1 crowds, so if you have tickets and you haven't booked accommodation - now's the time! The Austrian GP takes place on 22nd June.

A month later (20th July) the F1 circus returns to the Hockenheimring, which hosts the German GP in alternate seasons, sharing the event with the Nürburgring. Hockenheim's involvement with F1 dates back to 1970, when a driver's boycott of the Nürburgring resulted from safety concerns over the notorious circuit. Kimi Räikkönen has held onto the F1 lap record for 10 years. The seventeen-turn course is a shade over 2.8 miles long, since a redesign in 2001; the shortening of the circuit involved the permanent removal of the forest section and is still the subject of controversy.

Finally, a brand new track for 2014 - the Sochi International Street Circuit. Russia's long wait for a chance to host a GP will come to an end on 12th October. The track follows the border of the Winter Olympic park, and at just over 3.6 miles it'll be one of the longest circuits of the season. Nearly a third of that distance involves public roads. Some long straights are expected to allow top speeds of around 198mph. The venue is reported to be almost complete, though the surface won't be laid until after the Olympics.

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