The FIA World Motor Sport Council has issued a calendar for the 2018 F1 World Championship – the first in decades not personally put together by Bernie Ecclestone.
There are no major surprises on the 21-race schedule, with Malaysia going and Germany and France back, both via deals that were concluded by Ecclestone.
Inevitably the addition of two European dates has created some congestion in the summer. Despite moving Baku from June to the end of April F1’s new bosses have come up with the first triple-header, with France, Austria and Silverstone on consecutive weekends, and Germany/Hungary and Belgium/Italy also back to backs, the latter pair matching this year’s schedule
Russia has been moved from its April date to September, and now features in an unusual back-to-back with Japan.
In a statement from F1 Chase Carey commented: “We wanted to finalise next season’s calendar early, so that all our stakeholders would have more time to prepare and we have managed it, thanks in part through working closely with the FIA.
“We are proud to confirm that the German and French Grands Prix will take place in 2018. France was one of the seven races that made up the first ever World Championship in 1950 and it now returns after a decade. It will be held at the Paul Ricard circuit, which last hosted a round of the F1 Championship in 1990.
“The number of races has increased by one compared to the current season. We received numerous requests from those wishing to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix but we wanted the existing promoters to feel that we are putting all our efforts into ensuring that each race is a special event, so that the fans, our most important stakeholders, can enjoy a unique and unforgettable experience. If we can do that, then the entire Formula 1 family will reap the benefit.”
Meanwhile both China and Singapore remain “subject to commercial rights holder confirmation,” meaning those venues have yet to finalise new contracts with F1.