The FIA has officially finalised the F1 2012 World Championship calendar – with confirmation that the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul has been removed from the schedule.
The resolution was reached following a fax vote of the members of the governing body's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), with 20 races due to feature, beginning in Australia on 18 March and concluding in Brazil on 25 November.
Turkey joined the calendar back in 2005, but the seven editions of the race have been dogged by high ticket prices leading to poor crowd figures – meaning it is ultimately no great surprise that the event, although popular amongst drivers and teams, has been dropped.
The Bahrain Grand Prix
at Sakhir – cancelled in 2011 due to the well-documented civil unrest in the desert kingdom – will return on 22 April, rather than being twinned with Abu Dhabi, as had originally been mooted.
The new United States Grand Prix
in Austin, Texas, meanwhile, will take place on 18 November, the penultimate slot on the schedule and just seven days before the Interlagos finale – making for a potential logistical headache. The race was originally pencilled-in for June – to run back-to-back with Canada – prompting concerns about excessive heat.
The summer break, finally, has been lengthened from three non-race weekends to four – meaning there will be no grand prix in August at all. July, September, October and November, by contrast, all have three races each.The finalised F1 2012 calendar reads as follows:
March 18 Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne
March 25 Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang
April 15 Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai
April 22 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir
May 13 Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona
May 27 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo
June 10 Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal
June 24 European Grand Prix, Valencia
July 8 British Grand Prix, Silverstone
July 22 German Grand Prix, Hockenheim
July 29 Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring
September 02 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps
September 09 Italian Grand Prix, Monza
September 23 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay
October 07 Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka
October 14 Korean Grand Prix, Yeongam
October 28 Indian Grand Prix, Greater Noida
November 4 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina
November 18 United States Grand Prix, Austin
November 25 Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos