2018 F1 calendar approved; Brazil GP security issue raised
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