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Doubts over dates

THERE are still some doubts over the Formula 1 calendar, despite the fact that there is only six weeks to go before the first race. The FIA is due to announce its definitive calendar on Thursday this week and there are suggestions that there could be big changes to the list previously made public.

The season is due to kick off in Argentina on March 12, but there are considerable doubts as to whether the Argentines will have done the necessary work in the time available. There are also doubts over the second race in Brazil (on March 26). Rumors suggest that the death of Ayrton Senna has hit Brazilian interest in F1 very hard and that the Interlagos organizers are having trouble raising the money to hold a race. The third race of the year - planned to take place at Aida on April 16 - may also be a victim because of the recent Kobe earthquake. While the track was undamaged in the quake, all the local infrastructure - the roads and the railways to bring people to the region from Tokyo - have been badly damaged and organizers are worried that they will be unable to sell tickets.

The San Marino Grand Prix, planned for April 30, is dependent on major safety works being finished at Imola, while the Spanish GP is expected to change venues from Barcelona to Jerez because of financial problems at the Circuito de Catalunya. The other track which may have safety problems is Monza, where major work is necessary if the Italian GP is to go ahead.

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