Formula 1 will clash with the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans yet again, with the provisional 2017 calendar being announced by the World Motor Sport Council.
Not a lot has changed compared to the current schedule, with a couple of minor race swaps and date modifications.
It’ll be a monstrous 21-race calendar once again, starting with the stand-alone Australian GP on the 26 March as F1 heads down under – possibly for more ‘shoey’ madness.
China and Bahrain have swapped places and are now back-to-back, to everyone’s joy and delight…
The European Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan returns on the 18 June, meaning it clashes with Le Mans.
This proved to be a major issue with motorsport fans and that doesn’t look set to change with this calendar clash.
F1’s well-deserved summer break will take place after the German GP and before the Belgian GP, so no change there then.
Malaysia will be the first fly-away of the second part of 2017, swapping with Singapore, which will become a back-to-back with Japan.
It’ll finish in Abu Dhabi on the 26 November. A few of the dates (Canada, Germany and Brazil) are subject to confirmation but that never really means much.
Here’s the full schedule:
- March 26 – Australia
- April 9 – China
- April 16 – Bahrain
- April 30 – Russia
- May 14 – Spain
- May 28 – Monaco
- June 11 – Canada*
- June 18 – Azerbaijan
- July 2 – Austria
- July 9 – UK
- July 23 – Hungary
- July 30 – Germany (Hockenheim)*
- August 27 – Belgium
- September 3 – Italy
- September 17 – Malaysia
- October 1 – Singapore
- October 8 – Japan
- October 22 – USA
- November 5 – Mexico
- November 12 – Brazil*
- November 26 – Abu Dhabi
*Subject to confirmation
The WMSC also announced that wet starts will begin behind the safety car but once conditions are good enough, the drivers will then line up on the grid for a standing start (hooray!).
There’s also been a crack-down on stockpiling spare power unit parts (like Lewis Hamilton did at the Belgian GP) and drivers now get one race per season to change their helmet design (boo).
Pirelli’s also selecting the tyre compounds for the first five races of 2017 as the deadline is before pre-season testing, so each driver will get two of the hardest tyre available, four of the medium compound and seven of the softest. At least it’ll cut down those thrilling tyre choice stories…