Bahrain confirms provisional 2007 race date


The 2007 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix has been given a provisional date of April 13-15 by Formula One Management's Bernie Ecclestone, promoter of the FIA
Formula One World Championship. FOM informed the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) of its decision at the German Grand Prix.

BIC, General Manager Martin Whitaker stated: "Following a meeting with Mr Ecclestone at the weekend we have now been given a provisional date for the 2007 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix of April 15th. This makes our race the third of the year with Australia opening the season on March 18th and Malaysia three weeks later on April 7th."

The full 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar will not be ratified by the sport's governing body until later in the year, meaning that all dates are currently provisional. This is a situation with which Bahrain is familiar, as the inaugural Formula One Grand Prix to be staged in the Middle East, the 2004 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, was brought forward by six months at extremely short notice whilst the BIC's standard-setting facilities were still under construction.

Looking ahead to the new provisional date, Martin Whitaker added: "We are happy to have a point on the calendar to work towards as the preparations continue for next year's race. For 2006 we not only enjoyed one of the closest races of the season so far but also saw a huge leap in Formula One's profile worldwide, with a 780% year-on-year increase in regional print media coverage in the Middle East and a giant leap in global TV viewing figures for the opening race of the season. With some countries recording double the number of viewers over the same race in 2005, and a total media value higher than the entire 2006 Winter Olympics, we are all proud that Bahrain has been able to help raise expectations for the opening race of the year."

As previously reported, Melbourne's Albert Park circuit provisionally returns to its traditional and guaranteed position as the first race of the year following a date clash with this year's Commonwealth Games in the city.

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Published: 01/08/2006
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