19 race calendar confirmed for 2013

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Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, has today confirmed the final calendar for the 2013 season.

Questions still hung over a twentieth race joining the calendar, with the FIA detailing that there would be “another European round” on 21st July. Many expected this race to be held at Istanbul Park for the Turkish Grand Prix, and the Red Bull Ring in Austria was also rumored to be interested in hosting the race. However, a deal has not been reached, resulting in a nineteen race season.

A planned race in New Jersey was also initially on the calendar, but the organizers decided to focus on hosting the race in 2014.

The new calendar also confirms that the German Grand Prix will be held at the Nurburgring following lengthy contract negotiations. The historic circuit will continue to alternate with Hockenheim in hosting the race.

Due to the omission of the twentieth race, the calendar does feature a seven week spell between the German and Belgian Grands Prix which is filled by just one race. The summer break will therefore feel longer than ever in 2013.

2013 Formula One Calendar

17th March – Melbourne, Australia
24th March – Sepang, Malaysia
14th April – Shanghai, China
21st April – Sakhir, Bahrain
12th May – Circuit de Catalunya, Spain
26th May – Monaco
9th June – Montreal, Canada
30th June – Silverstone, Britain
7th July – Nurburgring, Germany
28th July – Hungaroring, Hungary
25th August – Spa Francorchamps, Belgium
8th September – Monza, Italy
22nd September – Marina Bay, Singapore
6th October – Yeongam, Korea
13th October – Suzuka, Japan
27th October – Buddh International Circuit, India
3rd November – Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi
17th November – Austin, United States
24th November – Interlagos, Brazil

Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen fastest in rainy final practice at Australian GP

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second.

Both Ferrari drivers switched from their intermediate tires to the super-fast, ultra-soft tires for the final few laps of the session, testing conditions on the track after a day-long downpour left it slick and filled with small puddles.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did not opt to try out their soft tires, sticking to the intermediates for the entire session. They had the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, after topping the leaderboard in practice in dry conditions on Friday.

The heavy rains subsided by early afternoon, allowing the track to rapidly dry during the third practice session and making conditions safe for drivers to test their soft tires.

Still, only a few drivers completed a timed lap with the softer compounds, with Mercedes, Red Bull and most of the others staying with their intermediates.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had the third-fastest time of the session on ultrasoft tires, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on intermediates.

Hamilton remains the favorite to capture his fifth straight pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying later Saturday. He had the fastest laps on ultrasoft tires in the two practice sessions on Friday, though Verstappen was right behind him.

Verstappen and Vettel both slid on the slick track early in the third practice session, but maintained control and completed their runs without incident.

Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, had the sixth-fastest time of the session. The Australian’s chances of winning his fifth career Grand Prix on his home track in Melbourne took a hit late Friday when he was assessed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Australian driver was penalized for driving too fast under red-flag conditions during Friday’s second practice session because of debris on the track.