Turn 12, Baku street circuit rendering, Azerbaijan

2016 F1 calendar features 21 rounds including Baku

2016 F1 calendar

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Turn 12, Baku street circuit rendering, AzerbaijanAzerbaijan’s first round of the Formula One world championship, to be called the European Grand Prix, will increase the 2016 F1 calendar to 21 races.

The initial draft of the schedule for the 2016 F1 season gives the Baku street race a date of July 17th, in between Austria and the German Grand Prix, the latter having been absent from this year’s schedule.

Among the other alterations to the calendar are an earlier slot for the Russian Grand Prix, which will be moved forward to May. Malaysia’s race will be moved later in the year to form a back-to-back event with the nearby Singapore Grand Prix.

Australia will hold the opening round of the championship and Abu Dhabi remains the venue for the season finale.

Here is the 2016 calendar as confirmed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council today:

1Australian Grand PrixApril 1 – 3
2Chinese Grand PrixApril 8 – 10
3Bahrain Grand PrixApril 22 – 24
4Russian Grand PrixApril 29 – May 1
5Spanish Grand PrixMay 13 – 15
6Monaco Grand PrixMay 26 – 29
7Canadian Grand PrixJune 10 – 12
8British Grand PrixJune 24 – 26
9Austrian Grand PrixJuly 1 – 3
10European Grand PrixJuly 15 – 17
11German Grand PrixJuly 29 – 31
12Hungarian Grand PrixAugust 5 – 7
13Belgian Grand PrixAugust 26 – 28
14Italian Grand PrixSeptember 2 – 4
15Singapore Grand PrixSeptember 16 – 18
16Malaysian Grand PrixSeptember 23 – 25
17Japanese Grand PrixOctober 7 – 9
18United States Grand PrixOctober 21 – 23
19Mexican Grand PrixOctober 28 – 30
20Brazilian Grand PrixNovember 11 – 13
21Abu Dhabi Grand PrixNovember 25 – 27

2016 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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Posted on Categories 2016 F1 calendar, 2016 F1 season

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  • 87 comments on “2016 F1 calendar features 21 rounds including Baku”

    1. Um… Baku is not in Europe.

      1. If Bernie says it’s in Europe, it’s in Europe!
        Actually, I think that was driven by the Azerbaijani government. They would prefer to be seen as part of Europe, rather than as an ex-Soviet republic in Asia. I wonder if an EU application comes next.

        1. Well Turkish people and Azeri people are both Turkish, and EU wouldn’t give membership to Turkey despite the fact that they do actually have soil on Europe. Also, Turkey has a much bigger economy and they are closer to European standards on pretty much everything. So, no, that would be pretty inexplicable if Azerbaijan were to be given membership. That is not to say Azeris cannot try.

          1. It would first have to become a democracy.

          2. The population is Caucasian in origin, but like much of the region has been ruled by Iran, split in half, Turkicised, and now dominated by the Russian sphere of influence.

            1. They are not Caucasian in origin. They are mixed, Caucasian, Turkic, Iranian.

            2. Call it the Caucasian Grand Prix, then. Get someone to ruin the Caucasian national anthem before the race.

          3. If they want membership, they should start by recognizing their hand in the Armenian Genocide…

      2. The 1st European games were there. Russia is not europe either. Anyway 21 races in the condensed calendar of a weak economy of F1 ain’t gonna happen.

        1. The Russia Grand Prix bills itself as ‘Russian’. MrMuffins point is that Azerbaijan is nowhere near Europe and yet claims association with Europe and will stage the ‘European Grand Prix’.
          Azerbaijan has borders with Iran, Russia, Armenia and Georgia. By no stretch of the imagination – even Bernie’s – is it in Europe.

          1. Well, it has a tiny part of its territory in “geographical Europe” (thank bolsheviks for this). Kinda like Kazakhstan (UEFA member, btw, just like Azerbaijan).

            1. The area of Russia within Europe is actually bigger than the Areas of Spain, Germany and France combined…

        2. @peartree Russia not in Europe? You sure missed some geography lessons at school that’s for sure

          1. @montreal95 @brace You missed the point. Montreal, expert in geography must know that Europe borderlines Asia via the Ural Mountains and also the Caucasus mountains. Azerbaijan is south of the Caucasus and Russia is mostly east of the Ural mountains, with these 2 being just 2 examples. PS: @regs Britain is part of europe. That said I couldn’t care less about the geographic and political maps.

            I was just just trying to pull the @fastiesty conversation along, which resulted in @joolsy informing us of such an hilarious fact. In the end, highlight the idiosyncrasies of the world, recurring to F1 and the IOC.

            1. @peartree Azerbaijan is only partly south of the Caucasus(interestingly Baku itself, if you continue the Caucasus watershed line to the Caspian shore lies directly on the border). It’s part of Europe in the same way Turkey is part of Europe since a part of it lies west of the Bosphorus. And Baku is similar to Istanbul in that respect.

              That of course doesn’t make it right to stage the GP of Europe there in the slightest. It’s ridiculous. I think we all agree on that

        3. @peartree What was the 1st European Games if not just an attempt by the IOC to line it’s own pockets? That it’s held in Azerbaijan is an indication of that, they were the only place that wanted to host it..

          1. I have just come back from working on the 1st European Games(sic) in Baku and it turns out the president’s wife is on the IOC committee.
            Oh how convenient i hear you cry!
            Lotsa money talks in all these situations and F1 is just the same.

        4. @peartree
          Russia is most definitely European country. Their territory is so large that it spans two continents, but its main cities and the ethnicity of their majority ethnic group are by all means European, both culturally and geographically.

        5. Britain isn’t Europe either. Just an island in ocean.

        6. Everything west of the Ural mountains is part of Europe…

          That ingludes cities like Mosco, St. Petersburg, Volgograd

      3. Throw enough money at it and it’s whatever you want it to be.

        Being seen as “European” is better for tourism in the eyes of their marketing board.

      4. …And Imola is in Italy, to be fair.

        1. No more than Monaco is in France.

      5. Again, really?

      6. Well, technically you are right. Azerbaidjan is considered as partially in Europe. But Baku is on the asian side.
        Europe continent is defined by the Oural mountains at the east and the Caucase mountains in the south east.

    2. Any info on in-season testing after some of the Grand Prix?

      1. @me4me I would hazard a guess at the same as this year – after Spain and Austria. But lets see what happens to in season testing after pre-season testing was reduced for 2016.

        1. After Italy would be the prime spot for a 3rd in season test.

          1. Not sure if it makes sense to test at Monza though. It’s not a typical F1 circuit.

            1. @me4me True, maybe head to Mugello?

            2. @fastiesty That would go against the whole purpose of testing at a circuit after a race weekend which is that there are no additional costs because everyone/everything is already there.

              Going to Mugello would mean teams having to spend more to transport crew/equipment out as well as having to book more hotel rooms for the crews closer to the Mugello circuit.

            3. @gt-racer True, I was thinking it must have been the last separate trip to a track for in-season testing? 4 years ago now?

    3. Mustavo Gaia
      10th July 2015, 23:12

      oowwww, If the annouced layout remains, Baku race is gonna be fantastic, 1 or 2 overtakes all the race, pointless pitstops, and safety car ruining the race for some guy who were trying something.

      1. You’re just describing the 2000s

        1. Or ‘The Dark Days’ as I call them.

    4. Mexico y July or November… and Baku is central Asia, nos Europe

      1. *October

      2. Caucasus is not Central Asia, silly. :)

        1. Caucasus is Caucasus, still not part of Europe. Baku is east of Moscow and Baghdad.

          1. @timothykatz Do they teach geography at schools these days? This is mount Elbrus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Elbrus the highest mountain in Caucasus AND in Europe. Since when Caucasus isn’t in Europe? I agree that staging a GP of Europe in Baku is a bit like staging the British GP on the Outer Hebrides, but facts are facts

          2. Not “Central Asia” either. By geographical convention Northern Caucasus is pretty much Europe, Southern Caucasus is not. It’s kinda blurry, yeah. What’s your definition of “Europe”? I agree on Baku though.
            “Baku is east of Moscow and Baghdad”
            Heh… And Silverstone is to the east of Mauritania. :)

            1. The definition of Europe seems to include any country desperate to avoid getting dragged into the BS Sunni/Shia conflict being stoked by its neighbours.

    5. How disappointing. F1 2016 may well be the most exciting season ever, but it would still be decided in Abu Dhabi. Ugh.

      1. Hear, hear. Interlagos all the way, or Adelaide in my wildest dreams

      2. How is it gonna be the most exciting season ever? Real pity. Guys like you cannot see the difference between 2010/12 or 2014/15 apparently.

        1. Looks like some people prefer star wars to competitive field creating exciting races all the way down through the pack. Nothing you can do about it. But the truth is, F1 is not about that. It’s a team sport not a drivers’. A driver is only a part of a team. It’s not a spec series like GP2.

          1. No, of course not. But remember 2012 and how close the field was. Performance changed from one circuit to the other as every team had tracks that suited their car better than others. There is no competition if 1 car has the advantage over everyone at everything.

            1. You misunderstood me. 2012 was my favourite season. My remarks about F1 being a team sport were to underline that we need a competitive field rather than a rivalry between two drivers from a completely dominant team. 2011 wasn’t an all-time classic but Hamilton, Button, Alonso and Webber were close enough to Vettel to give spectators hope he will be beaten. Sometimes it was achieved, sometimes not.

            2. It wasn’t that different teams had cars best suited to different circuits, It was that the tyres worked for different teams at different circuits & nobody could figure out why they could get the tyres working 1 weekend & not the next.

              I personally hated that year, Felt far too artificial to me at the start thanks to the way the tyres were having such a massive effect on things.

            3. @michal2009b No. I didn’t misunderstand you. I was just agreeing with you :)
              @gt-racer Cars make the tyres work differently. So different cars perform different in the end.

    6. Looks like a short summer break, I hope that doesn’t mean they’re unsure about Hungary. Apart from having Abu Dhabi as the final it looks like a good season.

      I’m actually looking forward to the Baku track, it’s a good location and should give some unique challenges with the narrow old streets and the gradient if I remember correctly .

      1. @glynh Well, it’s been said that Baku is a replacement for Germany.. lets see if Hockenheim can continue to host the race.

    7. the 2016 schedule makes vastly more sense than the 2015 one that’s for sure! So credit where it’s due. I’m unsure about Baku and I hate Yas Marina as the season finale(and in general) but apart from that it’s all very logical

    8. Season starts 2 weeks later than usual.

      1. @stretch To help with the change for Daylight Savings, making it better for a European audience. This makes March the testing month, while ‘winter’ is now spent in the factory – Dec, Jan, Feb. Move Hungary to the German GP spot and there would still be a summer break with 20 races and ’14 trips’ (6 back-to-back races).

        1. Actually, doesn’t it make it worse for European audiences? Well, the Australian GP at least, I’m sure it means the race will actually be starting an hour earlier here in the UK, something like 4am.

          1. It’s 9 hours difference inbetween Sydney/Melbourne so a 4pm start would be 7am in the U.K.

            1. Yep, Bernie realised this after the delay of the race into April for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

    9. So India won’t return then???

      1. Only when the tax situation is cleared up.

      2. Only when Vettel can win. That’s how he’s gonna get the 4th in a row. lol. Same with Korea.

    10. the Mexican gp have for a date 28-30 july, is not correct.

      1. I doubt the Mexican GP is end of July. Not least of which because that’s Thursday-Saturday. It’s also the same weekend as the German GP (Assuming that’s going ahead!)

    11. No India then? Very disappointed to be honest as I did like that race.

    12. Yay! Finally, a race on my Birthday, and a new one at that!

      I am 100% looking forward to sitting down on my 22nd Birthday next year and watching the cars thread their way through streets barely wide enough to swing a cat in the Not-in-Europe-European Grand Prix!

      1. I’ve got the Australian GP on my birthday! (I must add I’m Aussie)

    13. According wikipedia just 7,110 sq km of Azerbiajan out of a total area of 86,600 sq km is in Europe – hard to imagine European bit includes Baku which is in the far east of the country….
      And unrelated I can’t see S’pore and Malaysian F1’s being a week apart being good for the latter in particular, which has struggled against the glitz of S’pore night race in the heart of the city since the Lion City joined the calendar. Good if you’re an F1 fan from elsewhere and fancy a holiday in SE Asia though.

    14. Disappointed really. Was expecting 30 races including rounds in Iraq, Syria, Iceland and Alaska. I think Bernie is getting lazy….

    15. Hey, everyone wanted more races in Europe, so Bernie fixes that by calling races ‘The European GP’, and you guys say he does not listen to the fans….

    16. What ever happened about that GP in New Jersey?

    17. Interesting to see that despite being the longest calendar ever, it would also be the first April start since 1988. A very compact calendar. But aren’t the teams still only signed up to 20 races?

      1. yes they are @noelinho. And I am pretty sure that shortening up the calendar is a trick for Bernie to “show that it can be done” with more races on the calendar

      2. I think they still are, yes, but ultimately if they choose not to compete it is their loss in terms of championship position.

    18. Keith, I think you meant to write that the Meican Grand Prix is in October. Not July…

    19. Hopefully these will be the races the BBC shows live:
      Australia, Bahrain, Spain, Canada, Britain, Germany, Belgium, Singapore, Japan, USA, Brazil.

      It’s not my ideal list, but given the rules governing the way they have to pick races it’s about as good a schedule as I can come up with.

      1. Think Sky have exclusivity for the Australian GP as the opener of the season.

        1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
          11th July 2015, 16:12

          I don’t think that is the case, just that BBC never pick it for a live race when it’s in the early hours. They obviously figure it’s better to get a race at a good time for the UK.

    20. I still think Canada should come at the end of the Euro leg, and the pinballing around Europe makes little sense, why dont they travel Spain to Monaco to England to Belgium to Germany to Austria to Hungary to Italy? That way you could have back to back races for Britain and Belgium, and back to back races for Germany and Austria too, further condensing the calendar. Australia and China back to back, Malaysia and Singapore back to back, Bahrain and Azerbaijan should be back to back, US and Mexico back to back, they would save a lot of air/road miles in the process

      1. Nope, if they do too many back-to-back races, they will lose the attendance significantly. The ticket prices are so high, that most people have to pick and choose very carefully which races they would attend. So if you have Germany, Austria and Hungary in a row within one month, they will basically compete for the same audience. Same thing as with Malaysia and Singapore, which makes it all the more surprising why they actually went to do it that way. It looks like Malaysian GP might be a goner in a few years, coz this calendar ain’t doing them any favors.

        1. Interesting to see how many Germans go to Spa this year, after their race was cancelled and it’s the next nearest GP.
          Having Austin and Mexico back-to-back looks like the same problem to me, two races competing for the same audience – I guess it’ll mean a load of Mexicans won’t bother with COTA.
          At least the dreadful Russian Grand Prix’s in the slot of doom, getting kicked around the calendar before it hopefully dies.

          1. Austin is 1500 km away from Mexico, I think that isn’t a problem.

    21. Maybe people in Baku think this is a free world, for them to have the right to host sports events. Also there must be competition between F1 organizers, so to gain more spectators.

    22. Saurabh (@sksahukanker62)
      11th July 2015, 16:40

      No Indian Grand Prix, so sad… was really hoping to visit a grand prix next year… :( :( :(

    23. I’m surprised they have Sepang so late in the year as the reason it was moved to the start of the season for 2001 was because in the later slot in had in 1999/2000 the heat/humidity was pretty much unbearable.

      While its still hot/humid in March/April its significantly more bearable than it was in 99/00.

      If the heat is the same as it was in the later season slot in 99/00 I’d expect to see the race moved back to the cooler temperatures of March/April for 2017 because you won’t find anyone who attended those 2 races who really enjoyed the conditions.

      1. Ah. A Formula 1 classic: Forget why we did what we did, make the same mistake again, correct it, then forget…

      2. @gt-racer Indeed, it’s a bit more humid then, which is what really gets fatiguing quickly (even more so than March!). Would it not make more sense to swap it back with China? One week later, backed with Japan.. it would also be drier and warmer, as it is now China is the coldest GP on the calendar, to go with some air-miles saved.

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