Bahrain Grand Prix first of 2010 F1 calendar

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The Bahrain Grand Prix will be the first race of the 2010 Formula One World Championships, the official FIA calendar released on Monday shows.

The race will kick off an extended season on March 14, with the addition of the Korean Grand Prix and a return of Canada, subject to the race contract.

"Formula One is now the biggest and most watched global sport there is, and to start it in Bahrain puts huge attention on the kingdom and presents the country countless opportunities," Martin Whitaker, Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) chief executive, told Gulf Daily News.

"Next year will also be Formula One's 60th anniversary, and the same with Gulf Air. We will be pulling out all the stops for Bahrain's event and are looking forward to an unbelievable weekend of sport and entertainment."

Abu Dhabi will be the season’s penultimate round, with the championship finale returning to its familiar home of Brazil in mid November, FIA said.

This year, the first time that the UAE has hosted a grand prix, Abu Dhabi will host the final race of the series on November 1.

Bahrain previously hosted the season's first race in 2006.

The 2010 calendar

March 14 - BahrainMarch 28 - AustraliaApril 4 - MalaysiaApril 18 - ChinaMay 9 - SpainMay 23 - MonacoMay 30 - TurkeyJune 13 - Canada*June 27 - Europe (Valencia)July 11 - Great BritainJuly 25 - GermanyAugust 1 - HungaryAugust 29 - BelgiumSeptember 12 - ItalySeptember 26 - SingaporeOctober 3 - JapanOctober 17 - KoreaOctober 31 - Abu DhabiNovember 14 - Brazil

*Subject to the completion of contract negotiations with Formula One Management. If these are not completed then the Turkish Grand Prix will be moved to 6 June.

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