Formula One’s commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone is still finalising the 2006 calendar as he tries to fit grands prix around other major events.
Ecclestone revealed he is attempting to avoid unnecessary clashes with the football World Cup in Germany, while Melbourne’s Commonwealth Games also gets in the way as the event clashes with the traditional Australian Grand Prix date.
United States Grand Prix organisers have already announced they will hold their race on July 2 next year, subject to approval from world governing body the FIA.
But Ecclestone claimed the final draft of the 2006 calendar is still to be agreed upon, amid speculation a second Japanese race is on the cards.
The Englishman denied that talk and dismissed any notion that Fuji could replace the race’s traditional home next year, saying: “We have a contract with Suzuka.”
He added: “We are still sorting it out. I am looking at the whole calendar because it is difficult with the World Cup, some of the matches starting at 3pm, some at 5pm. There’s also the Commonwealth Games this year so it’s not easy.”
Formula One has also seen speculation that the British Grand Prix could move from its traditional mid-July slot to June as part of a shake-up of the calendar.
Ecclestone would not comment directly on the Silverstone date, saying: “Anything is possible.”
The 2006 season is expected to begin in Bahrain on March 12 before moving on to Malaysia a week later and Australia two weeks after that.