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Schedule change biggest block to Bahrain Grand Prix

By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The inconvenience of rescheduling the Grand Prix calendar at short notice remains the biggest stumbling block for Formula One teams and drivers opposed to racing in Bahrain.

Rubens Barrichello, the chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers Association, said drivers were not opposed to racing in the Gulf kingdom as long as their safety was guaranteed, but they were concerned about changes to the calendar.

"During the season, there was talk we could have it after one or two races but as the problem progressed I really thought there was no way for us to get back to Bahrain," Barrichello told Reuters on Wednesday.

"So it was a shock when I saw that we kind of accepted as Formula One to go back there."

The FIA announced last week that its world motor sport council had agreed Bahrain, initially scheduled as the season-opener in March, would take India's place on October 30.

The change meant the inaugural New Delhi event would have to be pushed back to the last race of the season in December.

"The logistics are quite tough for all the teams," Barrichello said.

"I think we're in good hands. The teams have forwarded what they think to the FIA and to Bernie and whatever the outcome is I'll be happy."

Adam Parr, the chairman of the Williams team that Barrichello drives for, said it was inconceivable that the calendar could be changed at short notice.

"The issue that we're concerned about is that fans, sponsors, teams, have made logistic arrangements to be in India for a particular weekend, the 30th of October, and we've been presented with a calendar where it's on December 11.

"How do you say to people who have booked a two-week holiday in India to take in the Grand Prix, 'sorry you'll be in India but we won't.'

"We've explained out position...and there's nothing more to talk about. It's just too late to change it."

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)