- Bahrain Grand Prix
Bahrain requested 2012 date change - Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that his recent suggestion to move the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix from March to November was at the request of Bahrainis.
The original - and current - 2012 calendar has Bahrain as the season opener, but over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend Ecclestone suggested a change in the order to move it to November. His proposal has not yet been ratified by the FIA and the teams will likely have some input before it is signed off.
Ecclestone said he had proposed the changes after the Bahraini government asked for more time to resolve the political unrest that saw the 2011 race cancelled earlier this year.
"They didn't want it up the front, so I've had to screw the whole calendar up," he told the Financial Times last week.
A spokesman for the Bahrain International Circuit said the proposal to move the race from the season opener to the 18th round would suit the organisers.
"We are extremely happy to host the Grand Prix in November," he said. "Due to high temperatures in our summer, either early or late in the season is better. November is the best month for us."
The shake-up would also see the US Grand Prix, which will be hosted at a brand-new circuit outside Austin, move from June to become the penultimate round in November. The swap would mean the race would not have to be held in the height of the Texan summer, but Ecclestone is aware it could also create logistical problems as it would go back-to-back with the final round in Brazil.
"It is a bit of a ball-breaker because there are no flights that go direct from Austin to Sao Paulo," he said
But despite some teams having concerns about hasty turnarounds between races, Ecclestone said he would have the final say on the calendar.
"We have concerns which are much more difficult than theirs," he added. "If there are any changes, I'll make them."
Takling to La Gazzetta dello Sport, he added: "Before that there was a draft. They [the FIA] were the ones who published it as if it was the final one. We have for example moved Austin to November because it's 40 degrees in the summer. We don't want to have the experience of Dallas again."