2010, on the whole, has been regarded as one of the greatest seasons in the history of the Formula One World Championship. With five drivers still in with a chance of being champion as the campaign reached its conclusion – and then Vettel coming from behind to wipe the smile off the faces of his team-mate Mark Webber, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and the McLaren boys – made for an epic climax to a mega season.  Can 2011 live up to the same standard?

One thing’s the for sure, with 2011 having no less than 20 races, it doesn’t half stand a good chance of doing so.  And here’s the calendar as it stands at the moment:

  • 13th March – Bahrain
  • 27th March – Australia
  • 10th April – Malaysia
  • 17th April – China*
  • 08th May – Turkey
  • 22nd May – Spain
  • 29th May – Monaco
  • 12th June – Canada
  • 26th June – Europe
  • 10th July – Great Britain
  • 24th July – Germany
  • 31st July – Hungary
  • 28th August – Belgium
  • 11th September – Italy
  • 25th September – Singapore
  • 9th October – Japan
  • 16th October – Korea
  • 30th October – India*
  • 13th November – Abu Dhabi
  • 27th November – Brazil

* Subject to circuit homologation

It’s a tad disappointing that the championship opens in Bahrain again – this year’s race was a total non-event – but we can take some comfort in the fact they they’ll revert back to the circuit used between 2004 and 2009. Then it’s on to the brilliant Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne before trips to Malaysia and China, both of which can be spiced up by the prospect of bad weather.

Next comes the European portion of the season, which this year opens in Turkey. It’s one of Herman Tilke’s better circuits, thanks in no small part to the awesome Turn 8. Then we have the uninspiring Spanish GP but fear not – Monaco comes just one week later.

Canada (classic) and Valencia (not so brilliant) follow, before we take in three races in four weekends: Britain, Germany and Hungary. F1 fans must then face the dreaded summer break, which sees us starved of Grand Prix action for a full four weeks. Nightmare.

But it’s all up hill from there, with legendary venues Spa and Monza hosting the next two events. It’s then time for the flyaway races, beginning at Singapore’s stunning Marina Bay. Next we have the superb Suzuka and the Korean GP, which should look a little more impressive in 2011 what with the owners having had time to get all the building work done. New venue Jaypee follows, hosting the first ever Indian Grand Prix, before we travel to Abu Dhabi and then close the season in Brazil – a great place to end what will hopefully be another classic campaign.

So, little change in terms of top drivers in top teams and a massive 20 race calendar – 2011 stands every chance of picking up where 2010 left off, with Fernando more hungry than ever to claim another championship, Vettel keen to replicate his fellow countryman’s success, Mark Webber desperate to have another stab and Lewis Hamilton looking to live up to the hype generated at the start of his career and claim a second title – oh, and Jenson won’t be shy either.

Looking beyond the chaps in top the teams, Robert Kubica will be hoping to convert his consistent top 10 finishes into consistent top 3 finishes – he deserves it – whilst the Mercedes pairing of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher will be praying their team can deliver something closer to the 2009 Brawn than the effort they produced last year.

83 days until the first race you say? It’s a good thing Badger will be keeping the content coming as we gear up for 2011 – hopefully that’ll have you entertained between now and when the lights go out in Bahrain.