2014 F1 Preview: Race-by-race overview 8 March, 2014 The Formula 1 season starts in Australia with Free Practice on Friday morning, 14 March, with the first race of the season to be flagged off on Sunday on 16 March. The calendar includes a new race in Sochi, Russia, on 12 October and the return on 22 June, of the Austrian Grand Prix for the first time since 2003. The following offers some detail of the 19-race calendar, which has the same number of races as last year. Start times are 1200 GMT unless otherwise stated. Australia, 16 March Albert Park street circuit, Melbourne. 58 laps of 5.303 km. Total distance 307.574 km. 0600 GMT start (1700 local). 2013 winner: Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus. Melbourne has hosted since 1996 what has become one of the most popular races on the calendar. The scene of Raikkonen’s most recent victory, he also won here in 2007 with Ferrari on the way to the title. Malaysia, 30 March Sepang circuit. 56 laps of 5.543 km. Total distance 310.408 km. 0800 GMT start (1600 local). 2013 winner: Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull. A hot and steamy venue, with the constant risk of tropical downpours, next to Kuala Lumpur’s international airport. The track has long straights and tight corners. Last year’s race saw controversy when Vettel ignored team orders and passed Australian team mate Mark Webber to win. Bahrain, 6 April Sakhir circuit. 57 laps of 5.412 km. Total distance 308.238 km. 2013 winner: Vettel. 1500 GMT start. The teams carried out two of the three pre-season tests here so they should be well prepared for the desert track some 30 km south-west of Manama. This year is the 10th edition of the race; it has switched to a later start, becoming a day-to-night event under floodlights. China, 20 April Shanghai International Circuit. 56 laps of 5.451 km. Total distance 305.066 km. 2013 winner: Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari. 0700 GMT start (1500 local). Built on a vast, almost overwhelming scale in the shape of the Chinese character ‘shang’. Has hosted Formula 1 since 2004. Spain, 11 May Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona. 66 laps of 4.655 km. Total distance 307.104 km. 2013 winner: Alonso. Used to be the most predictable of races due to teams testing extensively there but they have not done so this year. On the calendar since 1991. Monaco, 25 May Monte Carlo street circuit. 78 laps of 3.340 km. Total distance 260.520 km. 2013 winner: Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes. The slowest and shortest race on the calendar but still the most glamorous. Steeped in history, the one every red-blooded racing driver wants to win, however much they complain about it being outmoded and dangerous. Canada, 8 June Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal. 70 laps of 4.361 km. Total distance 305.270 km. 1800 GMT (1400 local). 2013 winner: Vettel. A popular race with sponsors and teams since 1978. Named after the late Ferrari great, father of Jacques, the circuit is on the Ile Notre Dame in Montreal’s St Lawrence River. Austria, 22 June Spielberg. Number of 4.326 km laps to be confirmed. The last race at the former A1-Ring circuit, now owned by Red Bull, was in 2003. Ferrari were the last team to win there with Michael Schumacher. Kimi Raikkonen was second for McLaren. Britain, 6 July Silverstone. 52 laps of 5.891 km. Total distance: 306.198 km. 2013 winner: Rosberg. A former World War Two airfield, hosted the first world championship grand prix in 1950. Last year’s race was notable for a spate of tyre blowouts. Germany, 20 July Hockenheim. 67 laps of 4.574 km. Total distance 306.458 km. The 2013 German GP was at the Nuerburgring, which alternates with Hockenheim. Briton Jim Clark died here during an F2 race in 1968. The track was heavily modified in 2002, most notably in that the long run through the forest was dispensed with. Hungary, 27 July Hungaroring, Budapest. 70 laps of 4.381 km. Total distance 306.630 km. 2013 winner: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes. The first race here in 1986 was a breakthrough for F1 behind what was then the ‘Iron Curtain’ dividing Europe. Tight, twisty and one of the slowest circuits. Brazilian Felipe Massa suffered a near-fatal head injury here in 2009 after being hit by a bouncing spring shed from compatriot Rubens Barrichello’s car. Belgium, 24 August Spa-Francorchamps. 44 laps of 7.004 km. Total distance: 308.052 km. 2013 winner: Vettel. The longest lap on the calendar and one of the fastest circuits. Often wet, always thrilling. A favourite circuit for drivers and fans. Raikkonen has won here four times. Only Ayrton Senna (five) and Michael Schumacher (six) have more Belgian GP wins. Italy, 7 September Monza. 53 laps of 5.793 km. Total distance 306.720 km. 2013 winner: Vettel. ‘La Pista Magica’, also known as the temple of Italian motorsport and all things Ferrari. One of the oldest and still the fastest circuit in F1, with now disused and crumbling banking dating back to 1922 still around as a testament to the history of the place. Singapore, 21 September Marina Bay street circuit. 61 laps of 5.065 km. Total distance 308.828 km. Race start 12:00GMT (20:00 local). 2013 winner: Vettel. On the calendar since 2008, now the Monaco of the Far East. The only race run completely at night. Japan, 5 October Suzuka. 53 laps of 5.807 km. Total distance 307.471 km. Race start 06:00GMT (15:00 local). 2013 winner: Vettel. A classic figure-of-eight circuit, owned by Honda with a funfair alongside. Fast, flowing and a favourite of drivers. Attracts some of the most passionate fans anywhere in F1. Russia, 12 October Sochi street circuit. Details to be confirmed. Race start 11:00 GMT (15:00 local). Track length 5.853 km. New race for 2014, with the circuit looping around the park built for the Winter Olympics. 55,000 tickets on sale. United States, 2 November Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. 56 laps of 5.513 km. Race start 20:00 GMT (14:00 local). Total distance 308.405 km. 2013 winner: Vettel. First purpose-built F1 circuit in the United States. Anti-clockwise layout with 20 turns. A big hit with teams and sponsors. Brazil, 9 November Interlagos, Sao Paulo. 71 laps of 4.309 km. Total distance 305.909 km. Race start 16:00 GMT (14:00 local). 2013 winner: Vettel. Dilapidated but atmospheric bowl-like venue that hosted its first GP in 1973. Home of Senna, Barrichello and Massa. Circuit runs anti-clockwise. Abu Dhabi, 23 November Yas Marina. 55 laps of 5.554 km. Total distance 305.355 km. 2013 winner: Vettel. Race start 13:00 GMT (17:00 local). Day-to-night race under floodlights. Made its debut in 2009. This most opulent circuit on the calendar runs anti-clockwise. Subbed by AJN. Reports on GrandPrix247.com by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.