FIA issues revised 21-race 2016 F1 calendar

2016 F1 season

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The 2016 F1 calendar has been revised by the FIA. Next year’s season will now start earlier in the year to accommodate a four-week break, which was absent from the original schedule.

The Australian Grand Prix, which will open the 2016 season, has been moved two weeks earlier. Following that there will now be a two-week gap to the next round, which will be in Bahrain instead of China. Shanghai’s race has been moved back one week, and as the next four race dates have not been changed means there are no back-to-back races among the first seven rounds.

Baku is the newest addition to the F1 calendar
Following the Canadian round the teams will head directly to Azerbaijan for F1’s inaugural race in Baku, forming the first back-to-back races on the schedule. Azerbaijan’s round has been moved forward by a month and is now provisionally on the same weekend as the Le Mans 24 Hours.

It will be the first time since 2011 that the classic endurance race has clashed with a grand prix. It would prevent the likes of Nico Hulkenberg, who won the race this year, from returning while also competing in F1.

Another pair of races on consecutive weekends follows: Austria followed by Silverstone, which has been moved away from a clash with London’s Formula E race. The teams have another pair of races after that: Hungary has been moved forward to the 24th of July, followed by the reinstated German round at Hockenheimring.

After those six races in eight weeks the teams have a four-week August summer break instead of the three-week gap on the original draft of the 2016 calendar. The season resumes at Belgium on August 28th before heading directly to Italy for the last European race of the season.

As on the previous calendar Singapore and Malaysia are consecutive events, albeit now separated by two weeks instead of one. Singapore and Japan form the next twin of races. The Circuit of the Americas retains its October 23rd date while the Mexican Grand Prix has been moved back one week, forming back-to-back races with the penultimate round in Brazil.

F1’s record 21-race season will conclude in Abu Dhabi, as it has since last year.

Revised 2016 F1 calendar

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

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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74 comments on “FIA issues revised 21-race 2016 F1 calendar”

  1. make brazil the final race again PLEEEEEASEEEE

    1. As long as Abu Dhabi are content to pay Ecclestone a premium for it, it’s not going to happen. Regrettably, because Yas Marina is all style and no substance.

      1. Abu Dhabi is such a boring track in my opinion. I hope that they don’t ruin Brazil anymore than they did in 2014.

        1. At least, if things go well for Hamilton, they won’t get the satisfaction of a title decider this year at least.

    2. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      30th September 2015, 19:34

      @matijaleader – Brazil doesn’t have enough Reals to match Abu Dhabi’s likely exorbitant race fee.

      1. @braketurnaccelerate Maybe we should start a crowdfunding campaign to make Brazil the final race again? :P

        1. It sounds silly, but Caterham was able crowd-fund a race meet and Kobayashi a race seat, so it could actually be a realistic challenge.

          1. @selbbin Very silly indeed. You’d be looking at crowd funding, I’m guessing, something in the region of £50m.

  2. Can anyone explain the rationale for having Canada and Azerbaijan/Europe back to back.

    1. To give the drivers a bit of a whiplash and a jet lag.

    2. @walsh-f1 in order to make it feel like Azerbaijan is closer to Canada than it really is. That way they can call it European GP

    3. It will be like Korea this year that was back to back with Spain, unlikely to go ahead IMO

  3. To me, the Canadian-European and Austrian-British double headers make little sense. Just adds a lot of logistical stress. This was probably partially done to accommodate a summer break, but Spain-Monaco and Belgium-Italy would make more sense in my eyes. I’d say US-Mexico as well, but that’d probably eat into each others’ attendance even more than now. Same with Malaysia-Singapore.

    1. Here’s Adam Cooper on the Canada – Europe double header regarding flight times:

      1. So not a problem, pack after race, Sunday night fly to London, stay a day or 2 with family, then on Wed fly out.
        Cargo gets even more time to get across the pond.

      2. I can’t even see the 14.5 hour flight connection. Quickest seems to be 16 hours and 5 minutes via Frankfurt. But that requires getting on a flight a 5am, which doesn’t seem wise if you want to adjust to the Montreal time zone.

    2. Spain-Monaco used to be back to back but changed because it is difficult moving into Monaco and don’t forget FP1 and FP2 are on Thursday.

    3. There is no logistical problem at all. Earth is a globe you know. Big cargo’s like the entire F1 circus is there in no time. Drivers will have to follow normal passenger flights or they can perhaps sneak into Bernies/Todts private jet.

  4. The last few Brazil races were not exciting so I don’t mind having the beautiful Abu-Dhabi as the last race. It is a welcome sight for the end of the season I would say. The racing is meh but these days there isn’t much racing anyway.

  5. There’s now a clash with Baku & Le mans, So no current F1 drivers will be doing the 24hrs next year.

    1. Or someone won’t be racing in Baku.

    2. Somehow I suspect that that is not a coincidence.

    3. To be honest I’m glad. I get to see the Le Mans 24 hours and I won’t be trapped into watching the Baku GP.

      1. If the start is after 5pm local time then you could watch both. 26 hours of racing )

        1. 5pm Baku time is 2pm France, that would be before the Le Mans race finishes at 3pm French time.

        2. 24 hours of racing and 2 hours of tyre and fuel saving .

    4. Why shouldn’t he? We’ve now got a current F1 driver who’s missing two races to do GP2.

    5. Who’s trying to snub Le Mans? Bernie or the Azerbaijanis?

    6. I won’t be surprised if this forces Le Mans to push the race back a week. I’m sure this has happened in the past…

      1. I doubt that would happen. The date for Le Mans is set by the ACO rather than the FIA. It has almost always been the 24th week. The biggest single sports event in the world will not change its date only because some other championship might held one of its 21 races for 2 of the 24 hours.

    7. I remember something along the lines that the FIA had some sort of ruling that prevented any other FIA-sanctioned sports to clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I might be wronh though.

      1. I also thought there was such an agreement in place. Therefore this might not be the last F1 calender for 2016.

      2. Bernie power, my friend.. :P

    8. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      1st October 2015, 10:20

      As the reigning champion defending his title, I really hope Hulk opts to stay in Europe that weekend.

      1. … rather than attend the European GP.

  6. Why do they need so many breaks in the calendar :@ they should be races every other week with no ‘holidays’.

  7. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    30th September 2015, 20:11

    Will there be any teams left by 2016?

  8. So we have to wait all winter to get to Australia, then have to wait another two and a half months before we get to the next decent circuit in Canada ?
    Bernie really knows how to get the fans excited about a new season, all of those pay to view broadcasters must be thrilled at the prospect of selling subscriptions for next season.

  9. Germany after Hungary is something I will never ever get used to. Never

    1. I agree, its been the other way round (apart from Germany’s absence this year) for decades. Weeeeird!

    2. If you were Syrian it would be normal.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        1st October 2015, 10:23


      2. Excellent !

    3. Germany should be back to back with Spa, either way round then in a two week holiday we can attend both. And if German race is at Nurburgring then you could stay in same place the whole time, it’s only about 80km between the two tracks.

    4. It could be Germany’s last Grand Prix for some time.

  10. Real professional organisation this formula 1 mob.

    Put out dates, let people (like me) buy tickets and book air fares etc, then change dates.

    Real competent and professional, not.

    1. They are professional – profession of business. Or did you really think they were trying to look after their viewers?

    2. It states very clearly that they are provisional dates and subject to change. That’s not a mystery. I never book flights until confirmed and book hotels that are free to cancel, because of those words: ‘provisional’ and ‘subject to change’ and ‘Patrons acknowledge that the dates of the Event
      are not set until fixed by FIA in the confirmed calendar for the 2016 Formula 1 season, which FIA will release in late 2015. If a Ticket is acquired prior to the dates of the Event being confirmed by the FIA, the Patron acknowledges and agrees that the provisional dates of the Event may change and that the Patron will not be entitled to a refund in such circumstances.’

  11. The Baku date is just bizarre, both in terms of the Le Mans clash and being paired with Montreal.

    The cynic in me wonders whether things are moving too slowly with the new track and they’re not actually expecting the race to happen in 2016, which would mean that these issues magically disappear?

    1. @dave-m Agree, if one race disappears, it’ll be a 20 race calendar again. Could also be Canada or Germany?

  12. If Ecclestone ruled the world:

    – October would be before September
    – May 15 and August 3 would change every other year
    – December 31 would be 48 hours long
    – Everyone would have to live in at least 2 timezones in a month
    – Eastern would be at the same as Halloween
    – Grinich would move to Asia

  13. How many more things can they get wrong, this time the calendar.

    Le Mans will be my first choice over Baku, and are they crazy having Canada just the w/end before.

    Plus we were thinking of doing Singapore and Malaya double within a two week period. Won’t happen now, my son cannot get a three week absence from work.

  14. I’m fed up – I’m having to pay out to change flights to get to Aus for the new GP date (all booked, GP tickets bought etc for original). I’d be back in the UK for the original Silverstone date. I’ve got more breathing space now Silverstone has gone back but what really worries me in trying to organise flights etc is that this revised Calendar is still being called “Provisional” – so when does it become final? Some of us don’t have the money that Bernie’s got to keep changing flights!

    1. I wait till the WMSC approves it, only then do i book the tickets.

    2. You should always wait for the confirmation of the finalised race calendar before booking the flights.

  15. Well, I’m happy about the changes. The original date for Melbourne clashed with my cousin’s wedding, so now I can make the wedding ;)

    1. How much did you pay Bernie?

    2. I’m surprised you would have chosen the race over their wedding. Close to your cousin?

  16. I’m very much doubting this mess of a calendar will be ratified. What fool thought it would be a good idea to have the disastrous Baku GP on the same date of the sensational Le Mans 24 Hours? Ludicrous…

  17. Lawl:D clash with Le Mans? Good luck with TV ratings chaps. I know what Ill be watching that weekend.

    Maybe Alonso Will take a spot… Imagine Button, Alonso & Webber next year in a Porscha… M m m!

    I hope they move it.

  18. With Malaysia later on in the year, there won’t be a hot and humid circuit until later on in the season; Bahrain’s also turned into a night race. So basically you’ve got three tracks after Albert Park which are all very similar, and I don’t think Sochi or Bahrain are well-known to be places of great amounts of rain.

  19. I couldn’t be more pleased about Melbourne being shifted 2 weeks earlier. I even pleaded on this website for it to happen and it came true. Maybe Bernie does actually read it?

    The rest of it though, isn’t great scheduling.

  20. Great: every national holiday weekend in the US (memorial, independence, labor and thanksgiving) there’s a race. The same as this year. No long weekend getaways for me for another year. :(

    1. If they have to work around every national holiday of every country (let alone the countries they race in) there would be no single weekend left.

      1. I didn’t say they should do anything, I was just stating a fact.

  21. So I suppose testing will now also be altered. Urgh – I’d already booked the flights…

  22. I think if you replaced Azerbaijan with South Africa, and maybe Bahrain with India, you’d be looking at pretty much the ideal global spread for Formula 1 at the moment:

    8 races in Europe
    4/5 races S/E.Asia
    4 races in N/S.America
    1/2 races in Middle East
    1 race in Australasia
    1 race in C.Asia
    1 race in Africa

  23. Russian GP supposed to be on spring week-long weekend. But instead they placed it on working days 29-30 April. Weekend begins on 1 May. They should move it one week forward.

    1. The 1st of May is Sunday next year, so the weekend begins on 29 April.

  24. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    1st October 2015, 13:46

    Porsche are already saying they’re waiting for the ratified calendar before looking for a Hulk replacement.

    Personally I would love to see Juan pablo Montoya take on the challenge, as mentioned in the article. He already has two of the three steps on the way to matching Graham Hill’s ‘triple crown of motorsport’, with only the LM24 race win evading him.

    After being robbed of the Indy title by stupid double-points, completing the triple crown would be an excellent way of topping off a stellar international career.

  25. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! - @omarr-pepper (@)
    1st October 2015, 15:46

    So they don’t want TV fans to watch any race during May? 3 borefests in a row!!! Russia, Spain and Monaco!!! (Yes, all-hailed Monaco is just exciting for drivers, not for TV viewers).

  26. Does anyone here think that for one minute the FIA or Bernie will allow themselves to be upstaged by the 24Hrs crowd ever again? The Hulk had such a great time that the possibility of other drivers going off to do the same, and then be the talk of the town the next weekend, cannot happen. Sacrilege!!!!

  27. I’m just glad Bahrain is not hosting the season opener. To see the F1 season starting and ending at 2 of F1’s 3 most unpopular locations would be a travesty. I don’t care how good the Bahrain GP had been these last 2 years- it’s a race that shouldn’t exist and gives F1 a bad image.

  28. The change to the 2016 F1 calendar, bringing forward the start in Melbourne, has had a knock on effect to the initial testing program.

    This test program had already changed, dropping the number of tests from three to two (losing Jerez in the process). Now that test program is even more compressed into the start of the season. It now looks to be:

    22-26 Feb, Barcelona
    1-4 Mar, Barcelona
    18-20 Mar, Melbourne

    Although the regulations are relatively stable from 2015 to 2016, the lack of testing must be a concern on several levels.

    Firstly, there are now just 8 days available to test a brand new car and get it up to a race performance standard. All the teams will be running significantly changed engines, and that’s not a lot of track time to test them.

    Secondly, there’s little time between tests to make any significant changes, even modifications to aero let alone more complex components. Teams will be continuing testing in Melbourne to a far greater extent than ever before.

    I worry about the impact to safety. These cars are now being put together in record time with a minimum of real world testing. Although manufacturing standards are higher than in the past, this doesn’t feel like sufficient time to safely test everything. How long will it be before a component fails and flies off into another driver? The chances must be slim but equally they must be increasing.

    This reduced testing isn’t reducing costs at all – it is increasing them because the time available to develop is shortened. There’s going to be a higher risk of failure, and as well as the possible impacts on safety it also risks a higher number of retirements and ruining the on-track race spectacle. After all, as much as I personally enjoy watching testing the majority of F1 fans go to watch races, and that’s where the show should be at its best.

    If this isn’t resolved by the next set of significant regulation changes in 2017, the start to that season risks becoming a test for a number of the teams rather than a competitive race. F1 doesn’t need that right now, and it certainly doesn’t need to risk making the sport less safe.

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