It looks as though F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is set to propose further modifications to the 2012 Formula 1 calendar, which would see the Bahrain and United States races moved to the end of the season, and the Turkish Grand Prix dropped from the calendar entirely.
Although we had reported that the FIA had issued – much earlier than usual – a draft version of the 2012 calendar during its most recent meeting of its World Motor Sport Council, it is understood that Ecclestone has proposed some changes to safeguard the Bahrain round and to appease concerns that the original July date for the US race is the hottest time of the year in Texas, the venue for the race.
With Bahrain’s political situation still unclear and many teams reluctant to commit to the event as the opening round on the championship calendar, it is understood that Ecclestone’s primary focus has been on what do to with appeasing all concerned parties.
Sources claim that Ecclestone has now proposed a revised calendar, copies of which he has forwarded to all teams for final sign-off.
It is believed that the proposed amendments would now see the Australian Grand Prix assuming its (rightful) place as the season-opener, with the Malaysian Grand Prix following the week after.
It is also understood that the Indian Grand Prix would move to the fourth round of the championship, while the Korean Grand Prix (originally put around that spot on the calendar) would be delayed to later in the year to occur around the other Far East rounds in Singapore and Japan.
The Bahrain race – originally slated to open the championship – would then be pushed back to November where it would be fitted back-to-back with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The United States race would move to the penultimate slot, scheduled for a week before the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.
With the number of races on the calendar capped at twenty, the Turkish Grand Prix (as expected) looks set to be chopped, with rumours continuing that the venue’s negotiations with Ecclestone over new contract terms had stalled.
With this in mind, we believe that the new 2012 season calendar will look something like this:
2012 FIA Formula 1 Championship Season Calendar*:
|18 MAR||Australian Grand Prix||Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne|
|25 MAR||Malaysian Grand Prix||Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur|
|08 APR||Chinese Grand Prix||Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai|
|22 APR||Indian Grand Prix||Buddh International Circuit, New Delhi|
|13 MAY||Spanish Grand Prix||Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona|
|27 MAY||Monaco Grand Prix||Monaco Grand Prix Circuit, Monaco|
|10 JUN||Canadian Grand Prix||Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal|
|24 JUN||European Grand Prix||Circuito de Urbano Valencia, Valencia|
|08 JUL||British Grand Prix||Silverstone Circuit, near Towcester|
|22 JUL||German Grand Prix||Nurburgring, Eifel|
|05 AUG||Hungarian Grand Prix||Hungaroring, Budapest|
|02 SEP||Belgian Grand Prix||Circuit de Spa Francorchamps, Francorchamps|
|09 SEP||Italian Grand Prix||Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Milan|
|23 SEP||Singapore Grand Prix||Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore|
|07 OCT||Japanese Grand Prix||Suzuka International Racing Circuit, Suzuka|
|14 OCT||Korean Grand Prix||Korean International Circuit, Yeongyam|
|28 OCT||Bahrain Grand Prix||Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir|
|4 NOV||Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Marina|
|18 NOV||United States Grand Prix||Circuit of the Americas, Austin|
|25 NOV||Brazilian Grand Prix||Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Interlagos|
* Educated speculation by Richard’s F1
[Original image via The Cahier Archive]