Bernie's 1996 diary

THE 1995 Formula 1 calendar is not yet fully sorted out and already the pressure is on for a 1996 list of race dates - both from the teams and from circuits interested in hosting races.

The ever-increasing worldwide interest in Formula 1 has intensified the demand for races and fitting all the races into the calendar is more and more of a problem, particularly as dates are sometimes dictated by climatic conditions around the world.

In order to fit in all the new races being planned the calendar will have to be juggled considerably in the next couple of years.

In 1996 the Australian GP is to move from its current November date in Adelaide to a March date in Melbourne and, in order to make the trip economically viable teams will want the event twinned with a Japanese race, probably the Pacific GP in Aida - although the weather might not be very good at that time of year.

The two South American races will have to be pushed back to late March/early April but will probably take place with just one week between them.

This would enable the teams to be back in Europe for the usual races in May at San Marino, Barcelona and Monaco.

The Canadian race in June is likely to be twinned with a race in the United States, before the circus returns to Europe for the big races in France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Italy.

In late September the circus will probably swing east again for a second Japanese race, twinned with another Far Eastern GP, in either China/Malaysia/Indonesia.

The season would then finish in South Africa in November.

The new races would make the series far more global than previously but will mean that European races will have to be dropped.

The theory of all this is fine, but by 1997 Bernie is going to have to work out how to fit in a race in the Middle East as well...

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