Abu Dhabi willing to accommodate later date for Bahrain race

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Start, Abu Dhabi, 2010

The Abu Dhabi race organisers are prepared to have their event close to the Bahrain Grand Prix on the calendar in order to accommodate the rescheduling of the race.

The UAE’s automobile club president Mohammed ben Sulayem told Abu Dhabi newspaper The National: “We are organisers of the Abu Dhabi race and we respect the [FIA’s] judgement. Finding time in the calendar is feasible.”

Ben Sulayem, who is also a vice-president on the FIA’s World Motor Sports Council, added: “Originally, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain agreed to have a big separation on the calendar to make the most of the exposure that a Grand Prix brings.

“However, this is an emergency and in an emergency we need to work together.”

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is scheduled to be held two weeks after the Indian Grand Prix and two weeks before the season finale in Brazil.

If a race in Bahrain were added to form a double-header with nearby Abu Dhabi, the Indian or Brazilian race dates may have to change in order to prevent having three races on consecutive weekends.

It remains to be seen whether the organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix will ask for their race to return to the calendar this year having cancelled next month’s race due to the political unrest in the country.

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

    Image © Bridgestone/Ercole Colombo

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    52 comments on “Abu Dhabi willing to accommodate later date for Bahrain race”

    1. well what an exciting fortnight that would be…

      1. At least there would finally be a set of races that make sense in being together- if F1 cares about its carbon footprint isn’t Bahrain and UAE the logical pairing anyway? Or is it too obvious?

        1. Too obvious is the one.

          That, and: “Originally, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain agreed to have a big separation on the calendar to make the most of the exposure that a Grand Prix brings”

          Whatever that means.

    2. But at least one potential hurdle is taken. Abu Dhabi will cooperate.

      I would bet, that Bernie is talking to everyone to get the Bahrain GP in somewhere. The teams will have the bait of some $ 20 million to distrubute.
      India will probably want to be cooperative as a new event.
      Biggest trouble with Brazil, but maybe a discount could be arranged by Bernie? And having big screens showing the football matches right after the GP maybe.

      1. Ain’t gonna happen…

        football here in Brazil is simply too important, more than anything else I would say.

        if a GP was held on the same day of a big football decision the F1 broadcaster would surely focus on the little ball…

        1. But Bernie did not even feel like changing the Silverstone date for the last World cup. The organisers put the match up on the big screens.

      2. If Brazil isn’t moved back a week, then India would have to be brought forward a week, and for a brand new circuit that in true ‘new-Tilkedrome’ style won’t be finished until 3 days before FP1, that could be tricky.

    3. Well, as the Korean Grand Prix is two weeks before the Indian GP, and one week after the Japanese, moving Abu Dhabi forward one week is still going to leave a triple header. Moving Brazil back is going to need a massive discount from Bernie.

    4. The cynic inside suggests that Abu Dhabi are saying this because India won’t change its date as it isn’t built yet and Brazil has also shown a reluctance to change to a Dec 4th date (as it clashes with football? or have I made that up?)

      I personally still think we’re not going to have a Bahrain race this season – which is a shame as 20 races are better than 19 (to the viewer).

      1. And having 19 races makes this season the one with highest number of races tied with 2005 and 2010, but missing one it will not establish a new record.

        1. Back to back snore fests in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi doesn’t sound like too much fun. But I guess for an F1 fanatic more races the better.

      2. But I understood India is pretty well up to schedule.
        Another interesting thing is the Marshalls. About the time the Bahrain unrest started, India announced they would have some 110 Bahraini to support them with running it.

        That would make it a hell of a scedule to get everyting in place for Bahrain only a few weeks later.

        1. According to Adam Cooper, the FiA/Bernie etc also have a policy of not arranging new races to be consecutive with anything in case customs proves to be an issue for the teams.
          I just can’t see it happening which is a shame!

        2. But I understood India is pretty well up to schedule.

          It would take a miracle – or an extra 100% on the budget to pay for bribpermits. And even then; in India people probably have to do two months of paperwork to take a bribe.

          Have you seen what happened with the Commonwealth Games? With weeks to go, they had nonworking toilets, roofs falling in, conditions so unsanitary that people weren’t willing to be in the area… and it cost some absurd amount more than it should have, to boot. The whole thing was a debacle.

          The only way I can imagine it working is if it was done entirely privately, and they somehow worked out a way to do whatever they wanted in their 10 square miles without government interference.

          Now, I know that India’s bureaucracy is changing, but… I mean, I was in Pune a year or so ago. I needed to get a video card – so, this is a pretty big city in a country renowned for tech… we ended up in this hole-in-the-wall place, and it took my host three solid hours to buy a video card. I’d rather have lunch with Gadaffi than undertake any Indian project more complex than buying a fish sandwich at McDonald’s.

          1. Perisoft,

            I couldn’t agree more. I lived and worked in Dehi last year. The attitude, on any thing with a timeline, is leave it until the last minute – the Commonwealth Games was a prime example. I cannot see them getting away with this with the F1 circuit.

            Corruption is rife, and lets not fool ourselves, India is a 3rd world country. What annoys me, is that there is so much poverty, like you can’t imagine, and Indian pride drives them towards these outlandish lavish projects, when milions starve, when thousands die through malnutrition and simple diseases.

            Social stuff to one side. I doubt that the circuit will be ready, it will look ready for the cameras, but we will see a repeat of what we saw with the Common Wealth Games, so perhaps Bahrain can fill this slot.

            1. I am really disappointed to read that you people (I don’t want this as racist discussion) are still succumbed to old notions of India as 3rd world country.
              Probably people find hard to digest a rise of 3rd world country. Is it?
              I am a good listener of views and who else better knows India.
              I know corruption and poverty is rampant and leadership is equally deaf, but it is the private initiatives that is pulling India to its rise (at least I see this as a rise).
              I am not advertising “Incredible India” campaign but I think a little hard talk is required to break the shackles.
              Give this a country little more time and better stop being judgmental in SlumDog way.

              Now back to the topic, Korea delivered last year, so will India, and seeing the circuit design it should be a damn racing spectacle.
              I really want to see Bahrain on calendar but not at the cost loosing rising interest in F1 in India.

              My sincere apologies for being off the topic in the earlier part but it was necessary.

            2. Ummm….CWG was a success, wasnt it?
              from what I hear, the International media deliberately posted old photos of the stadia because of….you kno….recent economic boom or something. well, i cant be sure but this is what i heard; also, the cricket world cup is on now and its being managed pretty well, any problems there? I dont think so.
              I agree with the corruption part, but you cannot generalize that with all Indians.
              The country is still trying hard to get out of its age old customs, but it could have been a lot worse.

          2. Perisoft, The Indian GP is indeed being done ENTIRELY privately. It is managed by Jaypee group not the government of India.

            Please get your facts right before rambling on about how India cannot do undertake any project.

            And you are calling Pune a big city? There are atleast five bigger cities in the country. I repeat again, get your facts right.

            1. Vicky,

              I don’t think that my opinions are rascist – just realistic. India is one of the most rascist countries in the world, if you doubt this, research the Caste system. This aside…

              My comments were with regard to India investing money in huge Western style projects, instead of investing money in it’s people – that’s all, plain and simple.

              I think that treating the F1 project like an Indian wedding will result in the same outcome as we saw in the CWGs. 5000 years of tradition and far too much unrealistic Pride – Incredible India!

              We will judge outcome of the Indian GP by the results.

              I wish you well.

          3. So are you saying the track is not on schedule?

          4. Anshumaan Tuteja
            24th February 2011, 6:39

            I was on the same ideology mate…but you go google the Indian gp and you will find images that change ur mindset..work’s being done,structures being built at good pace.The government is doing NOTHING for the gp and so i’m hopeful we won’t have a repeat of the CWG( it was shocking for us too!!..laws are being changed this parliament session for better governance in sports federations)and unlike the Korean gp, we will be 100% ready. Also, with Vijay Mallya also in the mix, i doubt there will be delay and then work is being done exactly the way ur imagining it to be-privately :)

            p.s. India is known for info technology outsourcing and not technology!!!

          5. Yesterday Karun Chandhok told us (on TFL – http://smibs.tv/live) how they are pretty much on track.
            Especially as they have first focussed on the track being finished. Tarmac is already being done in runoff and should be finished latest March 31st.

            Sure, it’s his father right in the thick of the oranisation, so what would he say. On the other hand they look like people making good on their words.
            Just look at the pictures and when they were taken, they are further than Korea was only 8 weeks before the GP.

      3. December 4th is the final round of the Brazilian Football Championship. But it is not necessarily a bad idea to clash these two events, at least for football, as it will give worldwide exposure for Brazilians football clubs. F1 may find Sao Paulo in a hectic state, if one if the 3 teams based in Sao Paulo is a candidate for the title then.

      4. Why not put Brazil on the 25th December? A christmas race would rule the world and would be perhaps one of the finest presents we F1 Fanatics ever got.

        1. As lovely as that would be, you’ve got to remember that the teams would want to avoid working on Christmas day

        2. Overtime+RRA≠Christmas Grand prix lol

    5. I hope no-one falls over themselves to squeeze the Bahrain GP somewhere. I think they should keep it cancelled. 20 races was a lot to begin with, and now they’re thinking of having 20 races in a season 1 or 2 weeks shorter than it was? Not worth it.

      1. For us the fans, having more races (especially when squeezed into a shorter space) is better.

        If the teams can handle it, the current situation dies down by November (which are both likely), plus FOM, FIA and the circuit organisers are fine with it, then why not have the 20th race?

    6. Ahhh Good ol’ MbS, a true shining beacon of Formula 1.

      1. Love the highest rated comment.

        1. Ha! Flav must’ve had money riding on the GT :D

      2. After watching that video again, I’m actually happy that a car with such an awful livery crashed!

      3. hahahahahahahahahha

        “did Renault told him to crash?”


        consequences of “Briatore the bad loser”.

    7. Definitely need more races! Just not in countries that have more important things going on.

    8. As much as the manufacturers may dislike it, the best (my opinion) and easiest way to reschedule the Bahrain GP would be to slot it in the summer break (Aug 14). This would break up the torturously long (for fans) 4 week break and avoid rescheduling other GPs.

      1. no chance, ferrari/mclaren will need that period to work out how to copy all the red bull design features!

      2. There’s a reason that Bahrain and Abu Dhabi aren’t held in Summer you know.

      3. That’s not going to happen. The engines, not to mention the drivers, would likely not survive the heat.

      4. Ever had a look at the Phoenix and Dallas GPs?

        No chance of a motor race in these countries in the middle of the summer.

        1. “I completely disagree!” ;)

    9. I hope they can come to an agreement, good to see that the respective countries are willing to work together.

    10. three races on consecutive weekends.

      is this really that bad considering how close bahrain is to abu dhabi?

      1. Those two together are probably OK, it’s the third one that could prove tricky. Brazil and Abu Dhabi were back-to-back last year but it was quite a rush with the two venues being so far apart.

        1. well that seems the best option to me. If they’ve done it before then I guess they could do the same again. (although i can’t imagine the workload the teams go through logistically!)

    11. If the bump Abu Dhabi back a week, they’d have to push India forward by one. Ideally, they’d have to move Brazil back a week as well, but running the championship in December seems likt a bad idea, and I don’t think they’d be too keen on the idea.

    12. How about Abu Dhabi accommodates Bahrain by giving up its place on the calendar ;-)

      1. great idea!!! i can’t believe how little racing we’ve had at abu dhabi! slow corner onto long straight? i don’t think so Tilke…

    13. They can have the race at the end of the season which will give them maximum time to let the country settle instead of switching the dates of other races. If India have trouble in meeting the deadline then they can arrange back-to-back races in the middle east.

    14. Good News.

    15. Of course – this is all pending the outcome of the current situation in Bahrain. It’s all well and good to reschedule, but no one knows what’s going to happen until then. It seems a tad hasty to be discussing rescheduling when we were all saying we shouldn’t even think of racing there because people are getting shot, like what, two days ago?

    16. “Finding time in the calendar is feasible.”
      “this is an emergency and in an emergency we need to work together.”

      My reaction to this was simple: good on you, Abu Dhabi. It would have been very easy to make up some excuse relating to the difficulty of slotting in Bahrain, because at the end of the day it will not be straightforward. Instead, rather than protecting their own interests and allowing regional rivalry to colour their view of the situation, they’re prepared to do what’s best for the sport and the Gulf region as a whole. In the sporting world of today, where money is paramount, I greatly respect them for making such a clear and positive decision, and furthermore off their own backs, rather than because Bernie asked them to, or because of media pressure.

    17. Abu Dahbi needs to be removed from the F1 schedule. That track is awful and needs a serious reconfigure.

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