DECEMBER 7, 2004

French GP to go back to July?

The latest version of the Formula 1 calendar is expected to be different from the one published by the FIA back in October. The teams discussed the calendar during yesterday's meeting in London but it seems that they are currently sworn to secrecy over the dates - for reasons which are not entirely obvious. Not all the details are clear but we believe that the calendar which will be published on Friday will include the United States GP on June 19, just a week after the Canadian GP. The German GP looks to be on the move from July 17 to July 24 in order to fit in the British and French GPs on July 3 and July 10. It is not clear which race which will be on which weekend but what is clear is that Formula 1 is not going to be taking any holidays in July as there will be four races in five weekends. There will be a three-week gap before the Turkish GP in the middle of August.

The position of the European GP remains a bit of a mystery as it is not clear whether it will be earlier in the year or between Monaco and Canada. The switch of the French GP would open up a date in April but the Nurburgring in April is a dodgy date from the point of view of weather. There is also some uncertainty about the date of the Chinese GP at the end of the year. It is not clear whether the race will be on October 16 or 23 but it appears that an effort is being made to squeeze the races together so the season ends at the same time as this year, even if there will be more races crammed into the season.

There has been talk, fuelled by Bernie Ecclestone, that the British GP must sort itself out within 48 hours but it seems that the intention is for the sport to muddle through with the event at Silverstone - even if there is a difference of opinion about money.

The full calendar will be released on Friday.