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Page last updated at 10:17 GMT, Saturday, 29 August 2009 11:17 UK

Bahrain set to start 2010 season

By Sarah Holt and Andrew Benson

The start of the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix
Bahrain will start the season for the first time since 2006

Bahrain is set to host the opening race of the Formula 1 season next year, according to a provisional calendar that has been released to teams.

The schedule lists 18 races, starting in Bahrain on 14 March and ending in Abu Dhabi on 7 November.

Canada and Britain are the only two events listed as provisional.

Canada has not yet signed a commercial deal, while in the UK there are doubts whether new host Donington Park will be ready for the 11 July date.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has said that the British event will switch to Silverstone if Donington cannot fulfil its obligations.

606: DEBATE
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Although the calendar is not expected to be officially confirmed until October, Ecclestone has told the teams, according to a source, that it is fixed apart from the two provisional events.

Bahrain has replaced the Australian Grand Prix as the season opener because Ecclestone wants to run the Melbourne event, which is slated for 28 March, at a time as friendly to European television audiences as possible.

This year the Australian race was started at 1700 local time, which was 0700 BST. That is not possible two weeks earlier because the clocks have not been changed from summer to winter time in Australia, and vice versa in Europe.

There are several other tweaks to the calendar from this year.

The Canadian Grand Prix
Canada's return would be popular with F1 teams and fans

Turkey slots in as the fourth event on 25 April, shifting from its June date of this season.

The European Grand Prix at Valencia moves from this year's August date to 27 June in an attempt to avoid the high temperatures in Spain in late summer.

The German Grand Prix is listed as being at Hockenheim, but there remain doubts over its finances.

And China moves from April to slot in on 19 September, ahead of Singapore, as the first of three races in Asia, the last of which is Japan.

The full 2010 provisional schedule is as follows:

March 14 - Bahrain (Sakhir)

March 28 - Australia (Melbourne)

April 4 - Malaysia (Sepang)

April 25 - Turkey (Istanbul)

May 9 - Spain (Barcelona)

May 23 - Monaco (Monte Carlo)

June 6 - Canada (Montreal)

June 27 - Europe (Valencia)

July 11 - Great Britain (Donington Park)

July 25 - Germany (Hockenheim)

August 1 - Hungary (Budapest)

August 22 - Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)

September 5 - Italy (Monza)

September 19 - China (Shanghai)

September 26 - Singapore (Singapore)

October 10 - Japan (Suzuka)

October 24 - Brazil (Interlagos)

November 7 - Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)



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see also
F1 year to have day-night climax
28 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Donington given British GP boost
26 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Canada dropped from F1 calendar
08 Oct 08 |  Formula 1


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