2018 F1 calendar ap­proved; Brazil GP se­cu­rity is­sue raised

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Sport -

FOR­MULA One races in Bahrain and China will swap places early in the sea­son as ini­tially planned fol­low­ing ap­proval of the 2018 F1 calendar on Wed­nes­day.

Mo­tor sport’s gov­ern­ing body FIA con­firmed the pro­posed switch, with Bahrain tak­ing place at the Sakhir cir­cuit on April 8 and the Chi­nese GP in Shang­hai a week later.

As usual, the F1 sea­son be­gins with the Aus­tralian GP in Mel­bourne on March 25.

All the other races in the 21-race calendar were con­firmed from the orig­i­nal plan set out in June, with the ex­cep­tion of the United States GP in Austin on Oct 21 be­ing sub­ject to con­fir­ma­tion. Brazil (Nov 11 at In­ter­la­gos) and Abu Dhabi (Nov 25 at Yas Ma­rina) are the last two races.

Ques­tions were raised about the Brazil­ian GP be­ing held next year in Sao Paulo af­ter se­ri­ous se­cu­rity scares last month.

Mem­bers of Lewis Hamil­ton’s Mercedes team were robbed at gun point in their mini­van while leav­ing the track. Valu­ables were stolen but there were no in­juries re­ported.

Thieves at the F1 race of­ten tar­get cars stuck in traf­fic jams at the exit of the cir­cuit lo­cated about 30 kilo­me­tres south of Sao Paulo city cen­tre.

FIA spokesman Mat­teo Bon­ciani said the car in which he was leav­ing the track was as­saulted by gun-wield­ing as­sailants who at­tempted to smash in the bul­let-proof win­dows with the ve­hi­cle stuck in traf­fic.

The French GP, mean­while, re­turns af­ter a 10-year ab­sence and will be hosted at the iconic Paul Ri­card cir­cuit, also known as Le Castel­let, in south­ern France on June 24. – AP

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