After starting the season over 10,000 miles away from this sports’ traditional base, Formula 1 (F1) series’ schedule brings them back to Europe where they’ll race seven of their next eight events.
The first four races have seen the F1 teams travel throughout Asia, from Australia to Malaysia and then from China to the Middle East. Now F1 heads from the hot and steamy parts of the world to the more moderate climes of the Mediterranean and Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday May 12 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo. In other words, it’s time to escape to the Spanish Riviera. Speaking of escaping, those who plan to attend the event should go to WorldEscape.com for great places to stay.
So far this season, three-time world champion Sebastien Vettel and his Red Bull team have once again established themselves as the team to beat with Vettel having captured two wins out of the four races this season (Malaysia and Bahrain). Lotus’ former world champion Kimi Raikkonen won the first event of the year in Melbourne and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso took the win for Ferrari in Shanghai, China, during the third stop on the calendar.
Atop the point standings, Vettel earned two poles along the way and has managed to make the podium in three of four tries so far this year with his only non-podium race being a fourth place in China. In second overall, Raikkonen is the only other driver to keep pace with Vettel on the podium by also grabbing three podiums along with a seventh in Malaysia.
Another former world champion, Lewis Hamilton, has been somewhat of a surprise in his first year with Mercedes, holding down third in the point standings while snaring a pole in China and working hard to capture all top fives so far with a couple podiums. Alonso is fourth overall, while Red Bull’s other car driven by Mark Webber rounds out the top five in points.
Now the teams essentially head back home and after Barcelona, two weeks later the teams swing northeast a few hundred miles along the Riviera to Monaco. A couple weeks after that, the teams head across the pond to Montreal, Canada, before coming back to Europe where they will visit in succession, England, Germany, Hungary, Belgium and Italy. Then it’s off to the Orient.
However, as we said, the teams’ next visit is to Barcelona and its beautiful beaches, which some say are the best in the world. If you want to head to Spain or any assorted international cities, again check out WorldEscape.com for more information on your stay – they are an online site specializing in short stay accommodations. By the way, it’s just been learned that F1’s new car is set to be unveiled in early 2014 with plans for teams to test in Jerez, Spain (source: Autosport).
In any case, the season really starts in earnest with the European dates. Red Bull has clearly set an early standard that will be the target to beat if anyone else wants to win the world championship and break the string of three titles in-a-row for the 25 year old Vettel. Europe awaits.
Additional sources: Formula 1, Racing Reference
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