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Formula One calendar trimmed to 17 races in 2007
August 29, 2006 16:45 IST
The Formula One calendar will be trimmed to 17 Grands Prix next year with Germany and Italy each losing one of their two races, the governing body said on Tuesday.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement that the calendar had been approved by its World Motor Sport Council.
While the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps returns after being cancelled this year, there are no slots for either the San Marino or European Grand Prix.
This year's calendar had 18 races after a record 19 in 2005.
No circuit details were given, leaving open the question of whether Hockenheim or the Nuerburgring would host the German Grand Prix.
The Nuerburgring has hosted the European Grand Prix in recent years but is now expected to share the German round with Hockenheim on alternate years.
Imola, the nearest circuit to Ferrari's Maranello headquarters, has hosted the San Marino Grand Prix and is sure to disappear from the calendar with Monza the traditional home of the Italian race.
Japanese hopes that Suzuka, a Honda circuit, might be retained after this year's Japanese Grand Prix appear to have come to nothing.
Toyota-owned Fuji has already been confirmed for next year's Japanese race and Suzuka officials had hoped another Pacific round could be included for them to host.
After starting in Bahrain for the first time this year to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, the 2007 season kicks off in Australia as previously announced for a first race on March 18.
There then follows a three-week gap before back-to back races in Malaysia and Bahrain on April 8 and 15.
Spain, world champion Fernando Alonso's home race, opens the European season in place of San Marino on May 13.
The United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, its future in doubt after the six-car fiasco of 2005 when all the Michelin-equipped teams pulled out, returns to the Brickyard for another year on June 17.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials had already confirmed that a one-year deal had been struck with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
"Though this contract is for only one year, it is still our goal to make the Speedway the longtime home of the United States Grand Prix," said IMS president Joie Chitwood in a separate announcement this month.
France and Britain will be paired in July.
Turkey, Italy and Belgium will also follow in quick succession, with the Istanbul race on August 26 before Italy on September 9 and Belgium on September 16.
China and Japan will also be linked with races on September 30 and October 7 respectively before the championship ends in Brazil.
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