No Le Mans clash for Azerbaijan’s renamed race on new 2017 calendar

2017 F1 season

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The FIA has confirmed the final 2017 F1 calendar which will feature 20 races, one fewer than this year.

The German Grand Prix, which was held at the Hockenheimring this year, will not take place in 2017.

Another significant change on the calendar is the moving of the race in Baku, which no longer clashes with the Le Mans 24 Hours. The race will also drop the title ‘European Grand Prix’ and adopt the title ‘Azerbaijan Grand Prix’ instead.

The Austrian, British and Hungarian Grands Prix will also take place one week later, taking advantage of the space freed up in the calendar by the loss of Germany’s race.

The fall in the number of races also affects the number of power units each driver may use during 2017. The rules permit five power units in a 21-race season, but no more than four without penalty in a 20-race championship.

Round Race Date Forum
1 Australian Grand Prix March 24 – 26 Forum
2 Chinese Grand Prix April 7 – 9 Forum
3 Bahrain Grand Prix April 14 – 16 Forum
4 Russian Grand Prix April 28 – 30 Forum
5 Spanish Grand Prix May 12 – 14 Forum
6 Monaco Grand Prix May 25 – 28 Forum
7 Canadian Grand Prix June 9 – 11 Forum
8 Azerbaijani Grand Prix June 23 – 25 Forum
9 Austrian Grand Prix July 7 – 9 Forum
10 British Grand Prix July 14 – 16 Forum
11 Hungarian Grand Prix July 28 – 30 Forum
12 Belgian Grand Prix August 25 – 27 Forum
13 Italian Grand Prix September 1 – 3 Forum
14 Singapore Grand Prix September 15 – 17 Forum
15 Malaysian Grand Prix September 29 – October 1 Forum
16 Japanese Grand Prix October 6 – 8 Forum
17 United States Grand Prix October 20 – 22 Forum
18 Mexican Grand Prix October 27 – 29 Forum
19 Brazilian Grand Prix November 10 – 12 Forum
20 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix November 24 – 26 Forum

2017 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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34 comments on “No Le Mans clash for Azerbaijan’s renamed race on new 2017 calendar”

  1. Well, this is a more sensible calendar than this year, at the very least. The Canada, Azerbaijan back to back is the most nonsensical in F1 history, calendar-wise. One more thing that needs changing though, is the Austin, Mexico back to back as it hurts both, especially Austin. But overall, yeah, much better.

    However @keithcollantine I believe you’re wrong about the engine allocation. In 2016, that was the case. But for 2017, there was a tweak, so it would’ve been 4 engines/season irrespective of the number of races

    1. ”as it hurts both” – Any valid evidence on that? I don’t buy the theories that having two geographically nearby venues close to each other (which doesn’t really apply to these two because their distance is 1 213.33272 km by air) on the race calendar would hurt the attendances. If anything it should actually increase the probability of people attending both races if they were held on subsequent weekends rather than many months or in this case two weeks apart from each other. It’s better to keep them (USA and Mexico) as back-to-back events for logistical reasons rather than pair Mexico with Brazil.

    2. There are the standard two weeks between Azerbaijan and Canada, so that doesn’t really seem a problem.

      It is 1522 km between COTA and Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez .
      It is 1589 km between Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring, but no one is mentioning that these back to back races are too close.
      It is only 320 km between Sepang Circuit and Singapore, and these already troubled(claimed) races have only two weeks between them and I would guess they will have a lot more overlapping competition to try and score F1 spectator dollars than the Mexico/USA races.

      1. @reg I don’t quite follow you, LOL.

        1. Austin is not close to Mexico City, particularly when you start comparing it other back to back races on the calendar.

          1. The biggest problem with the Austin and Mexico City races is that Texas- the second most populous American state with no less than 26 million people has a large Mexican/Latin-American population- Austin and San Antonio included. The Austin promoters were scared of losing a large chunk of their audience to MXC because of the close date. But F1 wanted to reduce logistical costs, and this is entirely understandable.

            The Mexican Grand Prix can effectively be run at any time of the year- even at any time during winter because of the 10-degree difference in temperature (the hottest time being in April to mid June, where the temperature averages around 80 degrees F (26 C) and the coldest time is in early January, where the temperature averages around 70 F (21 C), whereas the US GP cannot be run at any time of the year- only really late February to early May, and mid October to late November. Any time between early May to early October the weather is too hot and humid- the temperatures regularly are around the 100 F (38 C) range, and the race would have to be run at night- look at the WEC race there. Does anyone remember Dallas ’84? Why Ecclestone decided to run that race in July will be one of the great mysteries of F1 folklore, aside from the possible expendability he felt that event was, and he tried to advertise F1 to the US with a demolition derby-type strategy.

            I personally think they should run the Austin F1 GP in March as the opening round, and run the MotoGP event in November.

      2. @reg Please try to read more carefully before commenting. Although I wrote “is” instead of “was” while mentioning Montreal & Baku back to back, it was quite clear from the context that I was referring to 2016, as the most nonsensical back to back in history.

        @jerejj @reg I can’t be bothered to look up the articles but it was all over the internet, including on Autosport that research showed such back to back is a problem, more so for Austin. Austin had requested to be “separated” from Mexico but were refused. Geographical distance is less important in this context, than the following question: who are the target audience? If the target audience is the same(certain significant percentage of it), then having a back to back at even relatively close circuits and in neighboring countries is a problem.

        Finally, Singapore and Malaysia with a fortnight only time difference is a huge problem. The only reason I haven’t mentioned it is simple: Malaysia had a date, half a year apart from Singapore. and they chose to move it to the same time bracket. Not because it would somehow improve their ticket sales but because, frankly, the Malaysian GP is a lost cause. The attendance had been falling long before that. Neither the Malaysian people, nor the Malaysian government care about their GP anymore. So I can shout from now till March that they should move their race back to April, but what’s the point? They’ll soon be history anyway

  2. Come on Fernando – get a Le Mans dream team together with Jenson and Mark Webber!

    1. And now Hulkenberg is contracted to a manufacturer team he has zero chance of doing Le Mans again this time around…

      1. and last year he had a more than zero chance to do Le Mans?

      2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        1st December 2016, 4:17

        @eurobrun Renault / Enstone already lost Kubica for letting their drivers have fun somewhere else. And WEC has had some nasty accidents too. Hulk is actually burning his last realistic chance to achieve something big, so I hope he doesn’t try to anger Renault by asking a license to race LeMans again. He is already a winner, he shouldn’t try it again now. Not now.

        1. Renault should only see it as a positive that one of their drivers is a lemans winner. Possibly even two times at that if he races next year. If there is no clash of schedules I think renault would be stupid to not let him do it. In the end it is all in the contract anyways. If renault doesn’t want him to do lemans then they have probably already agreed to not do it.

          1. @socksolid, and if it was the case that Hulkenberg was injured in that race, many would then say that Renault were stupid to let him race. As @omarr-pepper notes, that was the response of a lot of people after Kubica was injured, and quite a few drivers have been seriously injured in WEC races over the past few years – in 2015, for example, it took around two months for Nakajima to recover his fitness after fracturing a vertebrae in a crash at the 6 Hours event at Spa.

            Equally, would Renault really gain from the event if Hulkenberg won at Le Mans again? Given that he’d be competing for a rival manufacturer, might it not just potentially raise their profile instead of benefiting Renault?

            @eurobrun, you’re assuming in your post that there would be a team willing to offer him a seat for that race to begin with – in the LMP1 class, the two remaining manufacturers are both under heavy pressure from their parent companies not to run a third car because of the cost implications (even though the ACO has tried to pressure them into running extra cars to bulk out the grid).

          2. Maybe if Nissan had entered LMP1 in a more fruitfull way, and had not felt like retreating as quickly as they can with their tail between their legs after the embaressment it was, Hulkenberg would have a really reasonable place to go for Le Mans @socksolid.
            But with Audi gone and Porsche reducing the amount of cars they are running, I doubt there will be a seat to get into, unless Renault fields either a Nissan GT or an Alpine GT or something.

  3. Correct me if I’m wrong, I thought the 21+ race power unit rule was being removed this year and would be 4 power units no matter what.

    Very pleased to see the renaming, don’t know why they bothered in the first place. Azerbaijan and Germany have now both held a European Grand Prix without hosting one of their own, something which is very unusual

    1. @strontium the european title was a ploy to make them look european. They held the 2015 european games and are members of uefa(although the football federation you are a member of doesnt really refer to where you are geographically just ask australia). And iirc when nurbugring and hockenheim started rotating the nurbugring still had a year to run on its ‘european’ contract

  4. Azerbaijan-Austria double header would make more sense logistically than Austria-Silverstone, but what’s more important is the one weekend gap between Canada and Azerbaijan (for logistical reasons), and the gap between Silverstone and Hungary, which won’t increase to two weekends, which would be unnecessary considering the annual summer break after Hungary, but other than Austria being paired with Silverstone instead of Baku I’m OK with this version.

  5. So the FIA and WMSC have decided that Azerbaijan is not geographically in Europe therefore dropping the name “European” completely?

    1. @photogcw – Today’s roundup had an article about this – the Azerbaijani promoters of the F1 race want to showcase Azerbaijan hence asked FIA to change the GP to reflect their country’s name. The name change was done at their behest, not that of the FIA/WMSC/FOM.

      1. I was being facetious with my comment.

        1. @photogcw – Whoops, missed that, sorry.

  6. Ze Germans will be bummed – a German champion, and no German GP in 2017!

    1. Ze Zermans told bernie that no, they are not going to pay his high fees every year. I think it is no big surprise that they don’t and therefore not a big surprise, though somewhat sad, that there will not be a German GP next season @phylyp

  7. The calendar actually seems quite sensible this year. 20 races instead of 25 gives a lot more flexibility. How they think they are going to run 25 in some future scenario I don’t know.

    When Malaysia drops off the calendar in the 20 race scenario, this will make room for another U.S. based GP to be added. If another goes e.g. Singapore then maybe they could add Argentina or France?

    1. By the way I’m sad to see the German race leave the calendar. I would rather it were some other places.

      1. I meant to say ’20 instead of 21′, not 25!!

  8. What do people reckon are the actual odds of 2017s Singapore GP being the last? I’ve always wanted to go, but had planned to go in 2018 after some serious saving. Might need to make some big cutbacks if I want to try and get to this one. =/

    1. I wouldn’t panick quite yet @textuality, Bernie warning that they lost interest after they signalled that they want to pay less are just the first opening shots of the negotiations. I think Singapore certainly is interested in having the race, possibly even more so when Malaysia jumps ship, but are just not keen to pay as exhorbitantly much as they have been paying.

  9. Monaco – Canada – Azerbaijan? I see no sense in that. The environmental damage of F1 is not fuel burned on track but air miles. Flying thousands of people and several tons of equipment to the other side of the world and back is insane.

    1. @lubhz It’s been said/stated over and over again that the Canadian GP can’t be held at the same time of year as the US and Mexican GPs because Montreal is too cool/cold for F1 in October, so for climatic reasons it has to be held at the same time of year as the European races.

      1. The Canadian GP can be held on the 3rd weekend of September, which is 2 weeks after Monza- but no later than that. Average temperatures in Montreal range around the mid 60’s F during that time of year- of which the fall colors are out in force there. The Canadian GP used to be held after the Italian GP from 1981 and before. The Mexican GP can be held at any time of the year but having the US GP 3 weeks after Canada is in rather warm temperatures; it is in the low-to-mid 80’s F in Austin around that time.

  10. @keithcollantine, on the 2017 calendar page ( the circuit names for Malaysia and Singapore are reversed – the Singapore race at Sepang and the Malaysia race at Singapore.

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