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Epic Formula 1 season takes shape as 2016 race Calendar is substantially reworked

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Epic Formula 1 season takes shape as 2016 race Calendar is substantially reworked
Sep 30, 2015, 6:58 PM

The 2016 F1 season will begin two weeks earlier than originally billed, one of a raft of changes confirmed by the FIA World Council today to Bernie...

The 2016 F1 season will begin two weeks earlier than originally billed, one of a raft of changes confirmed by the FIA World Council today to Bernie Ecclestone's original draft calendar, that was approved by the same body in July.

The Australian Grand Prix kicks off a marathon 21 race season on March 20th, rather than April 3, while the final race will be in Abu Dhabi on November 27. The calendar is still entitled 'revised provisional' leaving some small room for doubt about whether all the dates are confirmed.

Bahrain and China move earlier to accommodate the Melbourne changes, while later in the season the new race in Baku has been moved to a clash with the Le Mans 24 hours, scuppering Nico Hulkenberg's chances of defending his crown, while Silverstone has been moved to July 10, clashing with the Wimbledon Mens Singles Final.

There has been a re-working to allow for a proper summer team factory shutdown and then in the Autumn no distance has been put between Singapore and Malaysia, as demanded by the organisers in Singapore. They remain back to back, which both insist is not good for business.

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza is scheduled to be the last one, unless local organisers can agree to a new deal with Ecclestone. The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met with Ecclestone during the Monza weekend earlier this month to try to help smooth the way to a deal. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel said the loss of the Italian GP would 'rip the heart' from the sport of F1.

Germany is on the calendar with an event at Hockenheim, but the future of the event beyond that is in doubt as it is scheduled to return to Nurburgring in 2017, but the venue withdrew this year from hosting. Promoters in Germany expect to make a loss next year as Germany has fallen out of love with the sport.

Melbourne F1

Earlier this month, it was announced that Melbourne would continue to host the Australian Grand Prix until 2023. Australian GP Corporation Chairman John Harnden said that the security of the long term deal means the organisers can invest in the event, knowing that they are likely to get a return,

"Last year we extended until 2020 and now it’s up to 2023, so we’ve got an eight year horizon, and whether it’s infrastructure or the planning or what we do with the fans, it gives us a lot of surety and gives people confidence to invest in the product as well."

2016 F1 World Championship Calendar

20 March Melbourne

3 April Bahrain

17 April Shanghai

1 May Sochi

15 May Barcelona

29 May Monte Carlo

12 June Montreal

19 June Baku

3 July Spielberg

10 July Silverstone

24 July Budapest

31 July Hockenheim

28 August Spa-Francorchamps

4 September Monza

18 September Singapore

2 October Sepang

9 October Suzuka

23 October Austin

6 November Mexico City

13 November Sao Paolo

27 November Abu Dhabi
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