New venues invariably slotted at end

October 25th, 2011 - 6:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Greater Noida, Oct 25 (IANS) Historically, new venues that made it to the Formula One series, barring Abu Dhabi, have featured at the fag end of the calendar in their debut season and it is no different with the Indian Grand Prix that will be run at Greater Noida Oct 30 in the Buddh International Circuit as the 17th race of the 2011 calendar.

Here’s a look at the maiden races at the new venues in the Asian region over the past 12 years.

Sepang, Malaysia (1999, 13th race): Eddie Irvine (Ferrari) takes an unpopular win after teammate Michael Schumacher twice allowed him to pass while blocking the McLaren duo of David Coulthard (retired) and Mika Hakkinen (podium), the eventual World champion.

Bahrain (2004, 3rd race) - Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) completes a rare treble of Pole, Win and Fastest Lap with an average speed of 209.143 Kmph; his third consecutive win of the season that he goes on to dominate with a record 13 victories.

Shanghai, China (2004, 16th race) - Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) wins the last race of the season and goes on to finish second in the championship behind teammate Michael Schumacher.

Istanbul, Turkey (2005, 14th race): Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) wins from championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault), but the Spaniard eventually clinches the first of his two consecutive World titles.

Singapore (2008, 15th race): Fernando Alonso (Renault) notches his first win of the season, ahead of Nico Rosberg (Williams) and Lewis Hamilton (McLaren). Rather late revival by Alonso as Hamilton goes on to clinch the driver’s championship.

Abu Dhabi (2009, 17th race): Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber lead a Red Bull 1-2 finish with Jenson Button (Brawn) an important third that helps the British driver annex the driver’s championship. Incidentally, Vettel ends up second in the championship, 11 points adrift on 84.

Yeongam, South Korea (2010, 17th race): Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) chalks up his fifth win of the season to lead the championship stakes ahead of Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. However, Vettel wins the remaining two races of the season to clinch the first of his two World championship titles, just four points in front of Alonso.

Greater Noida, India (2011, 17th race): Going into the race, Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull have already clinched the two World titles - driver and constructor; of interest would be whether Vettel would win the remaining three races of the season (India, Abu Dhabi, Brazil) to equal Michael Schumacher’s 2004 record of 13 first place finishes.

(Anand Philar can be contacted at anandphilar@gmail.com)

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