The FIA has asked Bernie Ecclestone to resubmit a proposal for the remainder of the 2011 F1 calendar in the wake of the negative reaction to the decision to hand Bahrain a new date on the schedule.
The season opener was cancelled due to political unrest in the Gulf State but was given a new date of 30 October by the FIA last week, with the Indian Grand Prix in Delhi being moved from that date to one in December to accommodate the event.
FOTA responded to the news by writing to FIA president Jean Todt to say it didn't feel it was realistic to amend the calendar to accommodate Bahrain at such a late stage, with the announcement creating a logistical nightmare due to the need to change plans already in place for the Indian event that has been shifted to put Bahrain back on the calendar.
In a response to FOTA – made up of all the F1 teams bar Hispania – Todt said he was prepared to look again at the decision to hand Bahrain a new date even if the governing body felt it wasn't to blame for the current situation.
"The Formula One World Championship is regulated by the Concorde Agreement, the provisions of which supersede the provision of the International Sporting Code (ISC),” Todt wrote. "Under the Concorde Agreement, the responsibility to set the calendar and submit it to the FIA for approval rests solely with the Commercial Rights Holder (art 10 and Schedule 9 of the Concorde Agreement). Consequently, it is the responsibility of the Commercial Rights Holder to perform all necessary prior due diligence to secure his calendar proposal to the World Motor Sport Council.
“The question of the date of the Grand Prix of Bahrain has been on the agenda since 8 March 2011. It was the representative of the Commercial Rights Holder (who also represents the Formula One Constructors) who proposed the changes to the calendar.
“The delegate of the F1 Commission, in which all the Teams are represented, approved the decision that you are now challenging. Therefore, the World Council unanimously adopted the changes to the calendar of the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship, as proposed by the Commercial Rights Holder.
“However, the FIA always has at heart the smooth running of the Championship and the interests of the teams, and is always prepared to address any issues, however difficult, in a constructive manner. I have listened to your last-minute objections and have asked the Commercial Rights Holder to re-examine his calendar proposal, and if necessary, to resubmit a revised proposal to the World Council.
“I hope that a solution satisfactory for everybody can be promptly reached, in the interest of the sport and all the stakeholders.”