Formula 1 chiefs to discuss 2012 calendar amid concerns over some races

Formula 1 chiefs are to discuss the 2012 calendar later this year, amid concern about the status of some of the races that are on next year's schedule

Formula 1 chiefs to discuss 2012 calendar amid concerns over some races

AUTOSPORT has learned that talks about the position of the 2012 Bahrain and Korean Grands Prix have been added to the agenda for Thursday's meeting of the F1 Commission in Geneva.

Furthermore, sources have revealed that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone informed team principals over the Indian Grand Prix weekend that there were also now minor question marks about the fate of the new Austin Grand Prix.

Bahrain's position on the calendar is dependent on the ongoing political situation within the Gulf state, with this year's event having been cancelled because of troubles.

The fate of the Korean Grand Prix rests on its financial situation, with race promoters having revealed that they want to reduce the hosting fee going forward - something Ecclestone has said he is reluctant to do.

It is understood that if either race is dropped then Turkey is the favourite to replace it, after losing its place on the calendar.

Speaking to AUTOSPORT, Ecclestone said that he was keen for both Bahrain and Korea to remain on the schedule.

"Yes, absolutely," he said. "But let's wait and see."

The situation in Austin appears more complicated, with Ecclestone suggesting that, while construction work is ongoing, there are issues inside the company that is putting the event together.

"I don't think they are struggling [with building the track] at all," he explained. "I think there has been a disagreement inside the company."

When asked if he was certain the race would take place in 2012, Ecclestone said: "If you had said to me a month ago, is this [the Indian GP] 100 per cent going to happen then I would have said, 'I don't know'. So ask me a month before the race is due to happen."

But with Ecclestone having already pulled off a deal for New Jersey to hold a grand prix in 2013, he said that it would not be too much a blow if Austin's arrival on the calendar was delayed.

"We can have it next year or the year after," he said. "It is not the end of the world."

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Author Jonathan Noble
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