MONTREAL, canada // After four months of uncertainty, a sense of normality returned to Formula One yesterday as Bernie Ecclestone confirmed he had submitted a revised calendar to the sport's governing body.
The modified schedule does not include the beleaguered Bahrain Grand Prix.
"We'll be back to normal," said Ecclestone, F1's commercial rights holder. "We have to put it to the World Council. I sent something [yesterday] morning, so it will be quick."
Ecclestone was forced to act after Jean Todt, the president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), asked him to present an alternative calendar following a letter from the Formula One Teams Association (Fota) stating their refusal to race in Bahrain this year. Bahrain, originally postponed by the country's Crown Prince because of civil unrest, was unanimously reinstated last week following a vote by the 26-member World Motor Sports Council. It was planned to take place on October 30, with India's inaugural race shifting to December 11.
However, the decision was met with disapproval from 11 of the 12 racing teams and without their approval, a change of calendar was impossible.
Bahrain International Circuit organisers released a statement yesterday confirming they would "not pursue the rescheduling of a race this season", allowing Ecclestone to resubmit the original calendar, with India returning to its October 30 date.
"Whilst Bahrain would have been delighted to see the Grand Prix progress on October 30, it has been made clear that this fixture cannot progress and we fully respect that decision," said Zayed Alzayani, the president of the Sakhir-based circuit.
"We want our role in Formula One to continue to be as positive and constructive as it has always been. Therefore, in the best interest of the sport, we will not pursue the rescheduling of a race this season."
On the first day of practice at he Canadian Grand Prix, team principals spoke of their disappointment of the way in which the situation has been dealt with.
Christian Horner, the man who led Red Bull Racing to the constructors' and drivers' championship last year in Abu Dhabi, said the "unfortunate situation ... could have been handled better".
Eric Boullier, Renault's team principal and also the vice-chairman of FOTA, said Formula One, which he joined only last season, needs to understand international affairs are more important than motor racing.
"I am a young, inexperienced team principal, but I am pushing hard to do my best to help to build F1 for the future - and obviously it is never good when you get such reactions when things like this happen," he said. "F1 is a non-political sport. We cannot do whatever we want - because there are issues like this.
"We need to be a little bit more cautious."
Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren-Mercedes team principal and the chairman of FOTA, said the teams need to work together to improve the sport as a spectacle and brand.
"I've been involved in the sport for 23 years and so I'm criticising myself when I say we haven't done a very good job at managing the sport," Whitmarsh said.
"Historically, the teams spent most of the time fighting each other seven days a week, not only on the racetrack but in court - everywhere.
"McLaren and Ferrari have been through 30 years of fairly bloody conflict at times, but we've wised up. We both have very similar business models and we're passionate about F1.
"We desperately want to beat each other on Sunday, and that's how it should be, but away from that we can work together."
Despite Formula One's image being sullied by the situation, Ecclestone said the reason for the drawn-out process was because: "We were trying to help Bahrain, who have been very helpful to Formula One, and hoping they could get themselves sorted out.
"I don't know whether there is peace or not; I've no idea.
"The FIA sent somebody out to check and they said it was all OK. I think the teams had different information, and they have the right to say they don't want to change the calendar."
Asked whether he felt sorry for the Bahrain race organisers, Ecclestone added: "Yes, I was hoping everything would be fine.
"I definitely tried to help Bahrain, that's for sure."