Daily Archives: June 3, 2011

Korean GP now 6 months earlier in 2012 F1 calendar

The official calendar for the 2012 F1 season has been released by the FIA today.

After today’s announcement, the Bahrain Grand Prix will of course show, as it is back as the season opener. One week later is Australia, which is already causing teams to be worried about logistical difficulties.

The Korean GP is now the 5th race of the year, on the 22nd April. The Turkish GP is in 6th, but is “subject to confirmation”, as it currently does not have a contract for the 2012 season.

The highly-anticipated US Grand Prix, at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, is 10th on the 17th June. It also goes back-to-back with the Canadian GP a week earlier as expected.

This pushes the European season into July. The Indian, Abu Dhabi and Brazilian Grands Prix conclude the season.

The addition of the US makes the 2012 season the longest ever (again), featuring 21 races.

Here is the full list:

2012 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar:
11/03 Bahrain
18/03 Australia
01/04 Malaysia
08/04 China
22/04 Korea
06/05 Turkey *
20/05 Spain
27/05 Monaco
10/06 Canada
17/06 United States
01/07 Valencia, Spain
15/07 Great Britain
29/07 Germany
05/08 Hungary
02/09 Belgium
09/09 Italy
30/09 Singapore
14/10 Japan
28/10 India
11/11 Abu Dhabi
25/11 Brazil
* Subject to confirmation

Bahrain Grand Prix returned to calendar

Amid unanimous opposition the Bahrain GP has returned

Amid unanimous opposition the Bahrain GP has returned

The Bahrain Grand Prix has been reinstated on the 2011 Formula 1 calendar, after a decision made today by the World Motor Sport Council.

The Grand Prix will take place on the 28th – 30th October, when the Indian GP was supposed to take place. No statement has been made on this yet, but it is believed it will be moved back to December, a move that teams are strongly opposed to.

The following statement has been issued by the Bahrain International Circuit:

The head of the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) today welcomed the decision of 
the FIA (Federation Internationale de L’Automobile) World Motor Sport Council to 
reintroduce the Bahrain Grand Prix to the 2011 calendar.

The decision, announced by the FIA after the Council’s meeting in Barcelona, 
follows a FIA delegation visit to Bahrain to assess the situation in country 
this week.

Zayed R. Alzayani, Chairman of the BIC, said: “This is welcome news for all of 
Bahrain. As a country we have faced a difficult time, but stability has returned; 
with businesses operating close to normal, the State of National Safety lifted and 
countries removing travel restrictions.

“Collectively, we are in the process of addressing issues of national and 
international concern, and learning lessons from the recent past. By the time the 
Grand Prix arrives we will be able to remind the world about Bahrain at its best.

“The Bahrain Grand Prix has always been a source of national pride and it is an 
event than transcends politics. Not only does it receive strong support from the 
Government, but also from all major parties in Bahrain, including our largest 
opposition group, Al Wefaq, who yesterday endorsed both the BIC and motor racing 
in Bahrain.

“Importantly, it will also offer a significant boost to the economy. The Grand 
Prix attracts 100,000 visitors, supports 3,000 jobs and generates around $500m 
of economic benefit. Its positive effect will be felt throughout the country.

“On behalf of Bahrain, I would like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt and 
the FIA and the rest of the motorsport community for the support and understanding 
they have extended to us this year.”

Bahrain is a pioneer of motorsport in the region and the rescheduled Grand Prix 
will be the 8th hosted by the Kingdom since its inaugural race in 2004.

After a meeting of the teams in Monaco, team principals agreed their unanimous opposition to the reinstallation of the Grand Prix. After a government crackdown on protestors in the past few weeks, nearly the entire paddock is against returning to the troubled state.

However, according to the Guardian, the teams have no choice in the matter if they are instructed to race:

The Formula 1 teams are united in their opposition to the reinstatement of the Bahrain 
Grand Prix but concede that they would be legally obliged to attend should the World 
Motor Sport Council give the race the green light."

The teams have made their opposition clear to Bernie Ecclestone. Several human rights groups have also written to the FIA asking them to remove the race from the calendar.

While I don’t want to get political about this, I feel that this is completely the wrong call. On the same day that the race was reinstated, thousands of Bahraini citizens are taking part in a funeral procession for an activist killed in police custody. The efforts that the Bahrain government made to get this race back were disgraceful, and Formula 1 simply cannot be a part of this.