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The 2009 Calendar - Germany to Abu Dhabi

The 2009 calendar looks slightly different to last year's, with a couple of tracks knocked off the list, and a brand new one added. Organisers of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are hoping to have their circuit ready in time, but they've got a few months left yet. Here's a quick guide to the second half of the year. Don't forget to check back on the first half, if you missed it.

Germany
Last year the race was held at Hockenheim, but now the hosting duties swing back to the Nurburgring. The full track at the 'Ring is enormously popular but the reduced version can still see some good racing. It features a really tight hairpin that can sometimes catch drivers out.

Hungary
Hungary is notorious for hosting boring races, but the 2008 event was every bit as exciting as you could hope for. Unfortunately, that was due to the weather, rather than the track, so all we can do this year is cross our fingers and hope for some rain, otherwise it might be back to a procession.

Europe
Talking of dull races, the inaugural Grand Prix in Valencia last year fell completely flat. The surroundings were not at all picturesque and the racing left a lot to be desired. Bernie has been pushing for this race a long time, so it needs to have a strong year to get the fans behind it.

Belgium
One of the most popular races on the calendar clings on to its spot, despite ever growing financial pressures. Most drivers count Spa as their favourite circuit, and the Eau Rouge is one of the highlights of all the destinations we visit. When the race was dropped in 2006, it was sorely missed, so let's hope it can remain there for the forseeable future.

Italy
Last year saw the Monza circuit introduce a new young winner into our midst, and although the weather played a big part in that, the circuit can produce some great results. Ever popular with the Ferrari (and now Toro Rosso) fans, the Italian Grand Prix will no doubt remain on the calendar for a long time to come.

Singapore
The inaugural night race in 2008 was hailed as a great success, and I can't imagine the novelty will have worn off by the time the Singapore GP kicks off for '09. The one problem was a worrying lack of organisation amongst the marshals, and this needs to be watched carefully, as a street circuit is notorious for crashes and safety car periods.

Japan
Suzuka takes over hosting duties from Fuji for 2009, and the race looks set to be a good one. Suzuka has hosted the Japanese Grand Prix for all but the last two races, so it's return should make interesting viewing. Ferrari tend to do well at Suzuka, although Alonso unexpectedly won the race at Fuji in 2008.

Brazil
Last year's season finale becomes the penultimate Grand Prix, which is a real shame, as the circuit boasts intense fans and a great atmosphere. Staunchly supporting their drivers, particularly Massa in 2008, the end of season races have always been a great watch. It will be interesting to see whether the passion remains even when the racing moves on.

Abu Dhabi
A new track on the calendar, it's hard to say what Abu Dhabi is going to be like, except that they are trying to push the boundaries in terms of facilities, and provide access for the fans to get closer to the action. Whether they will be able to match the excitement of Brazilian fans at the end of the season remains to be seen.

It's going to be a fascinating year, and hopefully there will be enough excitement to turn around some of the losses the tracks are making. There is a lot of talk about teams getting involved to bring back a race in North America, so hopefully the 2010 Calendar will have even more good locations on it.

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