During the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend there were three major points of interest, namely the 'discussion' 2012 calendar that circulated among teams - hardly without some ulterior motive, as we shall see - the BBC/Sky broadcasting partnership, and Gilles Simon's defection to Craig Pollock's PURE Corporation.
While first named is of passing interest until the FIA's World Motorsport Council finally approves the calendar (having confirmed a 21-race schedule on June 3 that has turned out to be everything but), sources suggest Turkey could next year return to the fray in place of one of the two grands prix currently based in Spain, as both races are financially embarrassed - with locations and dates (within 200 miles and six weeks of each other respectively) compounding their situation.
As F1 broke up for its four-week summer break, talk in the paddock had it that the calendar had been distributed to put the fear of Bernie Ecclestone into the Turks, who seem reluctant to commit to a contract extension and who now own a superb (and costly) facility with no dates for F1, the World Touring Car Championship or MotoGP.
On the other hand, Barcelona and Valencia are believed to be desperate to bottle out of their deals in favour of contracts similar to the myopic Nurburgring/Hockenheim rotational arrangement. What better way of pressuring them than through inclusion on the calendar?
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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken