Next year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be paired with India rather than Bahrain, the world governing body for motorsports has confirmed.
2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to be held on November 4
ABU DHABI // Next year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be paired with India, the world governing body for motorsports confirmed last night.
The fourth annual Formula One race at Yas Marina Circuit will be held on November 4, 2012, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) announced following ratification by the World Motor Sports Council.
India, which hosts its inaugural race next month, will hold its second race seven days before on October 28.
Bahrain, cancelled this year after civil unrest and positioned as the season-ending race on the provisional calendar for next year, has been shifted to April 22 and will immediately follow the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, scheduled for April 15 as one of an unprecedented seven back-to-back races.
Australia will open the season on March 18 and will be followed by Malaysia seven days later. After China and Bahrain, the teams will begin the European season, starting in Spain before heading to Monaco, Canada, Valencia, Great Britain, and Germany and Hungary back-to-back.
The mid-season break will see no racing at all throughout the month of August, before the world championship reconvenes at Spa-Francorchamps on September 2 for the Belgian Grand Prix, which is expected to become a biennial race with France from next year onwards. Belgium's race will be paired with the Italian Grand Prix in Monza before the European races make way for seven flyaway events to close out the calendar.
Singapore is followed by Japan and Korea back-to-back, before India and Abu Dhabi take centre stage. The United States Grand Prix, the first of 10 to be held at the new custom-made Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, will be the penultimate race of the season before the teams head to Interlagos to finish the year - as they will in three months time - in Brazil.
Istanbul Park, home of the Turkish Grand Prix and one of the most popular tracks with drivers, will not host a race next year after the FIA said the maximum amount of races in one season was 20, rather than the 21 originally proposed by Bernie Ecclestone, the commercial rights owner of Formula One.
Rumours were already circulating last night, however, that should Bahrain fail to provide safety assurances to teams and sponsors, the Turkish Grand Prix could make a late return in place of the Kingdom's race.
Ecclestone's provisional calendar, leaked in late July, paired Bahrain with Abu Dhabi near the end of the season. The fact it has been shifted to April, will be taken positively by officials at the Bahrain International Circuit concerned for their annual showpiece.
This year's race was initially postponed, before eventually being cancelled following continual unrest in the Gulf state.
It is understood, following a Formula One Teams Association meeting on the sidelines of the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend, the racing marques were due to request China be swapped with India. It appears that request has since been declined.
The 2012 F1 calendar
March 18 Australia
March 25 Malaysia
April 15 China
April 22 Bahrain
May 13 Spain
May 27 Monaco
June 10 Canada
June 24 Europe
July 8 Great Britain
July 22 Germany
July 29 Hungary
September 2 Belgium
September 9 Italy
September 23 Singapore
October 7 Japan
October 14 Korea
October 28 India
November 4 Abu Dhabi
November 18 United States
November 25 Brazil