Ecclestone confirms 19 race calendar.

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Formula 1 will stick to 19 races this season after failing to find a replacement for New Jersey, supremo Bernie Ecclestone says.

Ecclestone and the FIA had reshuffled the calendar in a bid to slot in a 20th race on July 21, but despite talks with Turkey, Austria and Portugal no deal could be reached.

Although there remains time to sort out an extra event, Ecclestone said on Tuesday that he was now resigned to not holding a 20th race.

“The calendar has been formed already, it’s too late,” he told Dubai’s The National newspaper at an announcement for a new five-year global sponsorship deal between F1 and Emirates airline.

He added: “[I am] disappointed that it didn’t happen before; we can’t suddenly slot it in.”

F1’s tie-up with Emirates has prompted talk that Dubai could be in the running to hold a race, but Ecclestone has ruled that out because the Middle East is already well represented with Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

“We support races that we think are good for F1, wherever they may be,” he said.

“We have a restriction for 20 races and we already have two in this area, so it would be difficult to pop another one in.”

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