Is bigger better, or is less more? Chew on that one while the FIA releases the calendar for the 2011 Formula One World Championship. Packed with 20 grands prix, it's the largest the series has ever seen. And it's only going to get bigger.

Starting earlier and ending later than the season currently underway, the 2011 calendar starts in Bahrain next March and ends in Brazil late November, a position which Interlagos regains from Abu Dhabi, which in turn moves to the second-to-last position after two years as the season closer. Near the end of the season in late October will be the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, still subject to homologation of the new circuit. Malaysia and China, Spain and Monaco, Germany and Hungary, and Japan and Korea will each be back-to-back.

Meanwhile, a new, five-year contract was signed at Monza this past weekend to hold a grand prix on the streets of Rome, scene of the Shell commercial pictured above and a Renault F1 roadshow exhibit in 2005. The new race could come as soon as the 2012 season, pending European approval. The race is set to run in addition to – not instead of – the Italian Grand Prix, which will continue to be held at Monza. The last time Italy hosted two grands prix was in 2006, which featured the final running of the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.

The United States Grand Prix is set to race in Austin, Texas, also in 2012. However, neither the Chinese, Japanese nor Turkish grands prix are currently contracted beyond next season.

[Sources: Autosport, F1-Live]

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