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FIA confirms calendar reset

16 June 2011

Although the farce surrounding the on-off-on-off Bahrain Grand Prix ended ahead of last weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, F1's governing body has finally confirmed that the 2011 calendar will return to its previous form.

Having decided to reinstate Bahrain following Carlos Gracia's flawed report on the state of the nation following recent public uprisings and pro-democracy demonstrations - which, according to other reports, continue to lead to fatalities and human rights abuses - the FIA moved the inaugural Indian Grand Prix from the end of October to early December, usurping Brazil as the season finale.

However, following Bahrain's own decision to withdraw its bid for reinstatement, a fax vote by the FIA World Motor Sport Council has led to the unanimous - and frankly unsurprising - decision to ratify the remaining dates on the calendar as originally proposed, returning India to its previous October slot and confirming the trip to Interlagos on 27 November as the final one of the campaign.

The confirmation will again throw the spotlight onto construction work at Buddh International Circuit, which many felt had been handed a lifeline by the decision to move the Indian Grand Prix to December, but organisers continue to insist that the venue will be ready on time.

It also transpires that Bernie Ecclestone had debated the three potential dates for a rescheduled Bahrain Grand Prix with race-organisers in Montreal ahead of last weekend's Canadian Grand Prix – 30 October (in-place of the Indian Grand Prix), 4 December and 11 December. The latter two options were ruled out due to being too close respectively to the Muslim religious festival of Ashura and the annual FIA prize-giving.

"They asked me for a face-to-face meeting in Montreal once they had arrived, and we discussed those three dates," the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive told British newspaper The Independent. "I told them that I thought withdrawing was the easiest way to handle the situation."

The remaining 2011 F1 calendar resumes in Valencia next week and continues as follows:

June 26 Grand Prix of Europe
July 7 British Grand Prix
July 24 German Grand Prix
July 31 Hungarian Grand Prix
August 28 Belgian Grand Prix
September 11 Italian Grand Prix
September 25 Singapore Grand Prix
October 9 Japanese Grand Prix
October 16 Korean Grand Prix
October 30 Indian Grand Prix
November 13 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
November 27 Brazilian Grand Prix


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