2008 heads for 20-race calendar
Suzuka to return?

May 12 (GMM) F1's calendar next year could boast an unprecedented twenty grands prix.

Bernie Ecclestone has busily wrapped up new deals for 2008 with Valencia and Singapore, and rumours in Barcelona this weekend suggest that Suzuka could be back on next season's schedule with a race called the Pacific GP.

That would bring the 2008 total to twenty races, although it should be remembered that Magny Cours' place on the grid is in doubt.

"I would prefer 18, or 17, which is what we have now," said world champion Fernando Alonso at the Circuit de Catalunya.

He explained: "In 2005 there were 19 races and it was hard for everyone."

McLaren's Alonso also hit out at Ecclestone's plans for night racing in Singapore and possibly Malaysia.

He told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo: "For me it is impossible. What happens if the lights go out?

"We change good corners at Barcelona to improve the safety but then we try to organise street races in the dark, where it could rain, all the painted lines ..."

76-year-old Ecclestone, however, is adamant that Singapore, at the very least, will be a night race late next season.

He said during a teleconference: "I think we can drop the possibility of a day race."

Written: Sun, 13 May 2007 12:03:54

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