Apr.10 (GMM) A respected F1 correspondent is expecting F1's 2012 calendar to shrink to eighteen races this year.

Livio Oricchio, who writes for Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo, thinks the sport is now on the verge of cancelling next weekend's visit to Bahrain.

And he also thinks November's US Grand Prix, scheduled to take place at the brand new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, is in doubt.

So the championship that should have 20 races will most likely have only 18.

Livio Oricchio

"The construction has fallen way behind," said Oricchio, "and there are serious problems between the promoter and the Texas government.

"Each side is looking to the other on the obligation to pay the fee, estimated at $18 million, to FOM (Formula One Management).

"So the championship that should have 20 races will most likely have only 18," he concluded.

Bahrain International Circuit paddock
Bahrain International Circuit paddock

Photo by: Honda GP

At least publicly, however, the Circuit of the Americas is continuing to take shape.

This Thursday, a private ceremony is scheduled to take place as circuit contractor Austin Commercial celebrates the milestone of completing the full height of the main three-storey pit building.

The Austin Business Journal reports that "several business and civic leaders are scheduled to attend".