New Delhi: Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) on Wednesday confirmed a 20-race calendar for the 2012 Formula One season and the Indian Grand Prix will be held from Oct 26-28 as previously scheduled. The United States Grand Prix was also included in the calendar. (Complete 2012 calendar)
The FIA approved the race calendar at a World Motor Sport Council meeting in the national capital where its Annual General Assembly (AGA) is going on from Dec 5. The AGA is happening for the first time in India and will concluded with the FIA Awards Night on Friday.
The Indian Grand Prix will again be the 17th race of the season and will take place at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida near here. The inaugural race this year was from Oct 28-30.
The Bahrain round, which was cancelled in March due to civil unrest, will be the fourth race in 2012.
The FIA also announced a host of rule changes for the next season.
A three-day test will be allowed during the season as compared to none previously and the maximum duration of a race will limited to fours hours, the FIA said in a statement.
"A maximum race time is to ensure that a lengthy suspension of a race does not result in a race that could run up to eight hours if left unregulated," said the statement.
From now onwards, when safety car returns to the pits all lapped cars will be allowed to unlap themselves and then join the back of the pack, ensuring a clean re-start without slower cars impeding those racing for the leading positions.
The cars which were in the pit lane when a race is suspended will now be allowed to re-join the cars on the grid in the position they were in when the race was halted .
The drivers will not be allowed to move back onto the racing line having moved off it to defend a position.
The 11 set of tyres allocated to a driver can now be used on the first day of practice. Earlier, only three sets were permitted.
The 2012 season begins with Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne from March 16-18.