Formula 1 commercial manager Bernie Ecclestone is considering shifting the Indian Grand Prix back to Dec. 11 if the race is moved to help accommodate the return of Bahrain to the schedule.
Although Ecclestone had originally been considering switching the Delhi event to Dec. 4 – just one week after the Brazilian Grand Prix - to make room for Bahrain on Oct. 30, the logistics of doing so have nixed that idea. Instead, Ecclestone is now in discussions with teams about holding the inaugural Indian GP two weeks after the current season finale in Brazil.
That date change would likely meet with resistance from teams, who are worried about the impact it would have on staff members, and it would also cause problems because it clashes with the FIA prize gala that takes place in the capital city that weekend. Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali said in Monaco on Friday that teams were evaluating whether it would be possible for them to finish the season two weeks later than originally planned.
Speaking about the Bahrain situation on the back of a team principals' meeting with Ecclestone on Thursday, Domenicali said: "Ferrari wants to go to Bahrain in the future, for a long time. We feel that Bahrain is a great place where F1 has to go. We need to work together with them [the Bahrainis] to see if, for the benefit of being there for a long, long, long time, it is good to do a choice for next year or to wait and see.
"What we have discussed is related to some possibility of a calendar that will be presented to the World Motor Sport Council on Friday, and the date will not be on the first weekend in December, it will be the second weekend of December.
"This is quite a tricky calendar if I may say, and we need to sort out and see if the logistics of all of this can be sorted out. This was the first point that was raised by Bernie yesterday, so we need to think if it is really possibly. As far as Ferrari is concerned, we want to have Bahrain for a long time in the future."