The FIA has announced a 20-race schedule for the 2017 Formula One season, with the omission of the German Grand Prix confirmed and Brazil listed as provisional, following a meeting of the World Motorsport Council in Vienna.
The 2017 season will begin on March 26 in Australia and conclude on November 26 in Abu Dhabi, and will include five back-to-back race weekends.
The German GP drops off the schedule for next season with the Nurburgring’s financial problems meaning they could not host the event and Hockenheim unwilling to stage the race two years in a row also because of monetary reasons while F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone told governing body the FIA that he was still in talks with Brazil’s president and could not confirm the race’s place on the schedule until January. The Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, which had also been in doubt, has been confirmed.
At the meeting, the FIA also said it had identified 11 corners at circuits around the world where changes needed to be made to ensure there was no controversy about drivers gaining advantage by going off the track. This was a major issue at last month’s Mexican Grand Prix, where there was a debate about incidents involving Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. It is likely that this will be dealt with by installing steep ‘sausage kerbs’ that slow cars down if they go off track.
Imola was touted as a potential replacement for the German Grand Prix, but instead the number of races has been cut to 20. Melbourne will once again raise the curtain on the season, the race in Baku in Azerbaijan has been moved back a week to 25 June to avoid a clash with the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Singapore and Malaysian races swap dates from the provisional calendar, with Singapore now a standalone event in September and Malaysia paired with Japan in October. The Mexican GP moves forward a week to pair it back-to-back with the US GP as was the case in 2016. The mid-season break will come after Hungary on July 30, with action resuming at Spa-Francorchamps in late August.
2017 F1 CALENDAR
March 26 – Australia (Melbourne)
April 9 – China (Shanghai)
April 16 – Bahrain (Bahrain)
April 30 – Russia (Sochi)
May 14 – Spain (Barcelona)
May 28 – Monaco (Monte Carlo)
June 11 – Canada (Montreal)
June 25 – Azerbaijan (Baku)
July 9 – Austria (Spielberg)
July 16 – Great Britain (Silverstone)
July 30 – Hungary (Budapest)
August 27 – Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
September 3 – Italy (Monza)
September 17 – Singapore (Singapore)
October 1 – Malaysia (Sepang)
October 8 – Japan (Suzuka)
October 22 – USA (Austin)
October 29 – Mexico (Mexico City)
November 12 – Brazil (Sao Paulo)
November 26 – Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi)