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Moving the Bahrain Grand Prix

February 22, 2011

F1 will not be in Bahrain this year.

With yesterday’s confirmation that the Bahrain Grand Prix has been postponed, the 2011 Formula 1 calendar is back down to nineteen races. But what next? 

Some commentators consider rescheduling the race to the end of the season a viable option, while there others that believe the race should be scrapped altogether for this year. There are also those that think Formula 1 should never go back.
The schedule as it stands is already extremely cluttered and while it may be easy to think that the reinstated race can be simply slotted in somewhere, the reality is somewhat different.
The only slot to put the race would be in between Abu Dhabi and Brazil, which is an option that would not best please the organisers of the event at Yas Marina. Having two such events so close together in such a short space of time has the potential of minimising the economic impact of both events – splitting the audience in the region.
Abu Dhabi may also be unwilling to give up its slot as the penultimate race, especially considering they have already lost the final space to the Brazilian Grand Prix.

There is also the issue with getting the entire Grand Prix circus around most of the globe in a short space of time, as the arangements needed to make it work soon pass into the absurd.  Unless the Interlagos event is moved to December… which is when the winter test sessions are supposed to be taking place (at this stage most likely in either Jerez or Barcelona).

One of the more ridiculous suggestion that has cropped up has been the posibility of postponing the Indian Grand Prix for a year. This simply will not happen, especially seeing as how the building of the circuit and its surrounding facilities is apparently well ahead of schedule. There are too many commercial considerations to even consider moving the inaugural Delhi race to 2012.

Most importantly, the people involved in the show are already suffering enough. Is it really necessary to press even harder? On the off chance the Bahrain moves in between Abu Dhabi and Brazil, that will mean eight races in eleven weeks.
Think of this:
From mid-September to late November, the calendar would potentially be Italy, Singapore, Japan, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Brazil, followed by the aforementioned winter test. Unless the sport wishes to exhaust not only the people involved, but also the sporting product itself, then it may be best to kill the Bahrain Grand Prix until next year.

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