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SEPTEMBER 25, 2005

Brazil to get November 5 date

The Brazilian Grand Prix in 2006 is going to be held on November 5 and will be the World Championship decider. It is not clear how the rest of the calendar will change but it seems that the teams are only willing to agree to 19 dates if there are bigger gaps between the races, rather than the back-to-backs we have seen this year. There have been hints for some weeks that the calendar will stretch into November, as it used to do on a regular basis in the 1980s and 1990s, notably at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. It makes some sense to twin fly-away races outside Europe, such as Indianapolis and Canada and some of the European events but this summer's programme was hugely labour-intensive with four races on five weekends in July.

The interesting point will be that the European F1 season is currently expected to end on September 17 and if Brazil moves to the end of the year there would then be a gap of a month before Japan and China. This would suggest that the Italian GP would then go back to September 24. At the moment the calendar is very much still in play with Bernie Ecclestone playing the various parties off against one another. The calendar needs to be largely finalised by the next FIA World Council meeting in October.

The need to move the Brazilian race comes because of the Brazilian presidential election which will take place on October 1 - the date which was originally scheduled for Brazil. If a candidate does not win 50% or more of the votes, there is a run-off between the two leading contenders, which will be held on the last weekend in October, which means that the first weekend of November would be the first after the election.