Turkish GP dropped in F1 calendar shake-up

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The 2012 Formula 1 calendar has undergone a major shake-up after the version originally published by the FIA in June left Bernie Ecclestone with some major problems to address.

Key among them was the placing of the first US Grand Prix in Austin in June, alongside the Canadian GP. It soon became obvious that soaring temperatures made that date impractical and the local authorities — concerned about the environmental impact of a summer date — made it clear that the race would have to move.

Ecclestone thus switched it to November, just a week before the season finale in Brazil. While there is some logic to having consecutive races on the same continent the pairing makes for a huge logistical challenge as the venues are over 4000 miles apart, with no direct flights.

In his initial attempt at a reshuffle Ecclestone moved China to April and slotted India into November alongside Abu Dhabi, but hot weather and elections proved a concern for the Delhi date, so that has now been moved back to October.

Bahrain has been slotted in as the fourth race, immediately after China. F1 personnel will thus be committed to booking round trips, and given the obvious doubts about Bahrain — and the inevitable possibility of a late cancellation — that could lead to some travel problems.

For the first time in three years Barcelona and Monaco are not back to back, while Belgium has been twinned with Italy — and moved away from the UK August Bank Holiday date that made it popular with visiting fans.

The definitive calendar also confirmed the demise of the Turkish GP, which has proved a commercial failure, with little local interest and few overseas visitors. Ironically the track is regarded as the best created thus far by Hermann Tilke and has generally produced good racing.

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