Mike Stevens | Jun 6, 2011

Bahrain will not only return to a reshuffled 2011 schedule, the island Kingdom will also kick off the 2012 season.

The news was confirmed in a media statement issued by the governing FIA after its Barcelona meeting on Friday.

The Paris-based body said the decision to reschedule Bahrain to October 30 this year "reflects the spirit of reconciliation" in the troubled Kingdom, following months of civil unrest.

"The World Motor Sport Council feels that reinstating the Grand Prix is a means of helping to unite people as the country looks to move forward", the FIA added.

A new date for India has not yet been set, but the FIA hinted strongly that it will be in December, "combined with the FIA annual general assembly and prize-giving gala" in Delhi.

Ross Brawn said in Monaco that December is "totally unacceptable" to the teams, so well-known F1 photographer Darren Heath on Friday dared the teams' group FOTA to show its mettle.

"The safety of everyone in F1 will surely be put at risk," he wrote on Twitter.

FOTA responded by saying Friday's decision will be "discussed internally" with a position to be announced later.

Also on Friday, Bahrain was announced as the season opener for the 2012 season, with the provisional calendar for next year featuring an unprecedented 21 Grand Prix dates.

Turkey in May, however, accompanies an asterisk warning it is "subject to confirmation", while Texas is as expected paired with Canada in June.

The FIA also reinforced the 2013 engine rules featuring four-cylinder turbos, but said the "implentation date" could be reconsidered by fax vote "by June 30 latest".

Next year, meanwhile, the cars' nose tip height will be limited for T-bone style crashes, while the minimum weight will increase to 660kg.

(GMM)

 

FOTA to discuss controversial Bahrain decision

Leading Formula One teams will discuss the sport's controversial decision to return to Bahrain this year.

Despite the recent and ongoing turmoil in the island Kingdom, the FIA's World Motor Sport Council on Friday voted unanimously to reschedule the earlier postponed event in late October.

Bernie Ecclestone insists the decision has nothing to do with Bahrain's annual $40 million fee, but journalists and commentators are aghast that it comes amid reportedly widespread human rights violations, and ongoing securuty concerns.

Mark Webber has been the only outspoken driver on the issue, reiterating on Saturday that he feels "not at all comfortable" at the thought of going to Bahrain.

His team Red Bull apparently agrees, saying the decision would be discussed "within the appropriate forum".

A McLaren spokesperson said: "(The) decision is likely to be discussed internally within FOTA and a more detailed joint position may be defined after that."

Mercedes' Norbert Haug agreed: "We will discuss this in FOTA."

(GMM)

 

Renault livery change for Canada likely in 2012

Renault will not change its livery for next weekend's Grand Prix, but it may have to the next time it visits Canada.

We reported in January that the team's new Lotus-sponsored black and gold livery might fall afoul the country's strict anti-tobacco advertising laws.

Renault's 2011 livery is a tribute to the Lotus cars of the 70s and 80s, whose black and gold colours were to promote Imperial Tobacco's John Player Special cigarette brand.

"It (Quebec) has accepted the fact that (we) receive no direct or indirect financing from the (tobacco) industry in question," said team boss Eric Boullier.

"We would like to thank them for acknowledging our good faith."

Added the Renault media statement: "The team has agreed to work with the Quebec authorities on a more noticeable way to keep complying with the local legislation in 2012."

(GMM)

Follow Mike Stevens on Google+