Bahrain International Circuit, 2004

FIA asks Ecclestone to submit new 2011 calendar

2011 Bahrain Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004
Bahrain International Circuit, 2004

The FIA has asked Bernie Ecclestone to submit a revised 2011 calendar following the teams’ objections to the reinstatement of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Jean Todt told the teams: “The FIA has always had at heart the smooth running of the championship and the interests of the teams, and is always prepared to address any issues, however difficult, in a constructive manner.

“I have listened to your last-minute objections and have asked the commercial rights holder to re-examine his calendar proposal, and if necessary, to resubmit a revised proposal to the World Council”.

Todt added: “I would remind you that:

“1. The Formula One world championship is regulated by the Concorde Agreement, the provisions of which supersede the provisions of the International Sporting Code (ISC). Under the Concorde Agreement, the responsibility to set the calendar and submit it to the FIA for approval rests solely with the commercial rights holder (art 10 and Schedule 9 of the Concorde Agreement).

“Consequently, it is the responsibility of the commercial rights holder to perform all necessary prior due diligence in order to secure his calendar proposal in order to secure his calendar proposal to the World Motor Sport Council.

“2. The question of the date of the Grand Prix of Bahrain has been on the agenda since 8 March 2011;

“3. It was the representative of the commerical rights holder (who also represents the Formula One Constructors) who proposed the changes to the calendar;

“4. The delegate of the F1 Commission, is which all the Teams are represented, approved the decision that you are now challenging.”

The FIA has also published the letter the Formula 1 Teams’ Association sent to the FIA on Monday.

The letter sent by Martin Whitmarsh and Eric Boullier on behalf of FOTA read as follows:

Following the announcement by the World Motor Sport Council of the revised calendar for the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship, on behalf of all Teams belonging to FOTA we would like to state that the amended 2011 calendar is unrealistic.

Whilst we support the idea of racing in Bahrain – a country that has always hosted us with enthusiasm and warmth – once the security conditions have been fully reestablished, we feel that there are fundamental issues linked to the logistics of reintroducing such a race as proposed that have to be considered.

As we have been planning around the 30th October as the date for the Indian Grand Prix, a change of this date would severely undermine our scheduled transport plans. Similarly, our sponsors, international media and fans have organised travel and accommodation for the Indian Grand Prix and changing it now would cause an unacceptable degree of disruption and cost.

Most importantly, the addition of the Indian race to the calendar for 2011 was a fantastic development for the sport and it is critical that we do not undermine its success by these changes. With regard to holding a race in Bahrain this year, we also have been warned that insurance coverage could not be necessarily granted and this is an additional cause of concern for us.

We would also like to highlight that an extension of the 2011 F1 season in December could also prove unbearable for the staff of a vast majority of the Teams and it would conflict with our other internal activities already scheduled for that month.

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to articles 65, 66 and 198 of the International Sporting Code that define the deadlines for the publication of calendars for FIA Championships (art. 198), as well as the procedures for modifying the dates and venues of the events (art. 65 and 66) where the consent of all competitors is required.

We are, of course, willing to discuss all other aspects of the calendar with the FIA and the Commercial Rights Holder and look forward to doing so very soon. In the meantime, we trust that you will appreciate the necessity of reconsidering the calendar proposed for the remainder of the 2011 F1 season.

You can read both letters here.

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