After fears were expressed that 20 races - a new record - would be pushing the limit to extremes in F1 2011, the FIA has published the top flight's preliminary calendar for 2012...featuring no fewer than 21 grands prix.

The addition of India to the schedule this season has taken the total number of races - now that Bahrain has been re-admitted [see separate story - click here] - to 20, but with the United States set to return next year and none of the current venues making way, the 2012 calendar will visit a staggering 21 different circuits, beginning at Sakhir on 11 March and concluding at Interlagos in Brazil on 25 November.

The Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul in May remains subject to confirmation, whilst the third edition of the Korean Grand Prix will move forward by almost half-a-year to April. The opening four races will take place in the space of less than a month in a double back-to-back format, as was the case in 2009.

The schedule was released following a meeting of the governing body's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Barcelona today (Friday), and reads as follows:

11 March Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir
18 March Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne
1 April Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang
8 April Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai
22 April Korean Grand Prix, Yeongam
6 May Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul *
20 May Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona
27 May Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo
10 June Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal
17 June United States Grand Prix, Austin
1 July European Grand Prix, Valencia
15 July British Grand Prix, Silverstone
29 July German Grand Prix, Hockenheim
5 August Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring
2 September Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps
9 September Italian Grand Prix, Monza
30 September Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay
14 October Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka
28 October Indian Grand Prix, Greater Noida
11 November Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina
25 November Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos

* Subject to confirmation