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F1 NEWS 

Ecclestone sees calendar settle at 20 GPs

Bernie Ecclestone in Abu DhabiFormula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone expects the Grand Prix calendar to settle on 20 rounds in the next three years, with up to five new venues vying to get a place on the F1 itinerary.

Ecclestone announced today a seven-year deal with Abu Dhabi to host a Grand Prix at the country from 2009.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, joins neighbouring Bahrain as host of a Formula One World Championship round, days after it was announced that Bahrain extended its contract until 2013.

"I am sure that Bahrain and Abu Dhabi will work closely together to make sure Formula One is very successful in this part of the world, which is very important," Ecclestone told a news conference in Abu Dhabi.

"At the moment we've got five countries waiting to see if we can put a race there. We are aiming for 20 races. I think we are now well served in this part of the world."

Ecclestone confirmed that he wants to add night races to the championship calendar, with Singapore among the candidates.

"I was the one who suggested it so we'll wait and see," Ecclestone told reporters afterwards. "I would like to do one or two night races. It could be good in Japan or China."

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