Indy set for date change

The provisional 2005 Formula 1 calendar handed out to the teams by commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone in Belgium last month looks set for a mid-season overhaul with the United States Grand Prix having its date moved back a week to give Indianapolis enough time to prepare the venue after the Indy 500

Indy set for date change

Although the teams were told in Ecclestone's provisional schedule that the two flyaway races in Canada and the United States would take place on June 5 and June 12, it is understood that Indianapolis has pushed for its own event to be moved back one week.

That is because it will take a minimum of three weeks for Indianapolis to reconfigure its circuit from the anti-clockwise oval used at the Indy 500 on May 29 to the clockwise road-course used by Formula 1. It means the United States Grand Prix will take place on June 19 and the track is already selling tickets for that date.

With the teams wanting Canada and the US Grands Prix to run back-to-back for cost-saving reasons, several other races are likely to have their dates moved as well to accommodate the change.

One possibility is to break up the first scheduled back-to-back of the season, which was the San Marino Grand Prix on April 17 and the European Grand Prix on April 24. Imola could be shifted back a week with the Nurburgring event moving to May 29 to fill what would have been a three-week gap between Monaco and Canada.

The races after the United States Grand Prix would also need to be shuffled back, with one consequence being that the three week summer break is ditched to fit the mammoth 19-race schedule in.

POSSIBLE CALENDAR FOR 2005:

March 6 - Australia
March 20 - Malaysia
April 3 - Bahrain
April 24 - San Marino
May 8 - Spain
May 22 - Monaco
May 29 - Europe
June 12 - Canada
June 19 - USA
July 3 - France
July 10 - Great Britain
July 24 - Germany
August 7 - Turkey
August 21 - Hungary
September 4 - Belgium
September 11 - Italy
September 25 - China
October 9 - Japan
October 23 ­- Brazil

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