The F1 calendar

There has been much speculation in recent days about the Formula 1 calendar in 2004. The FIA issued a list of dates which has been blocked for F1 races. There are 17 slots in the calendar but there are at least 18 races which want an event.

Austria will not be one of them as there are plans for major rebuilding work at the Styrian track so even if the Austrians did come up with the necessary money there would not be a track which was usable in 2004. There are plans for two new races in Bahrain and China but it is not clear how these will fit into the calendar.

The latest speculation says that the calendar will begin in Australia and Malaysia with Bahrain taking the third race and Brazil taking over the fourth slot from Imola. It is anticipated that China would be twinned with Japan at the end of the season. It is rumored that Brazil has been trying to negotiate a deal for the race to be held in September, twinned with Indianapolis but there does not appear to be any way that this can work if Japan and China are put together.

There is much speculation that Belgium will be back on the calendar again but in order for that to happen the Belgian laws on tobacco advertising must be changed by the new government. The FIA did however allow for this when it announced the cancellation of the 2003 race last autumn.

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