Formula 1 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans will not clash next year, to the relief of many motorsport fans across the world.
Yes, there’s finally some good news, with a number of schedule modifications meaning F1 and Le Mans will not take place on the same weekend in 2017.
According to Autosport, the F1 calendar will fall to 20 races in next season (possibly dropping to 19, as the Brazilian Grand Prix is TBC).
This is because the German GP has been ditched, opening up the European GP to be pushed back by one week to the 25 June.
Last year’s qualifying session at the new Baku street circuit clashed with the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while the lights went out for the F1 race on Sunday just as the endurance event concluded.
Hardly the ideal situation for fans of both F1 and the FIA World Endurance Championship. But Hockenheim leaving the calendar and the date change for the European GP has got rid of the dreaded clash.
It also means there’s a two-week gap between the F1 races in Canada and Azerbaijan, compared to last year’s double-header which proved to be a logistical nightmare for teams.
Autosport reports other changes to the schedule, including the British GP being pushed back one week to the same weekend as the Wimbledon tennis finals and the New York Formula E race.
Singapore has swapped with Malaysia and been moved back to a standalone race, compared to the back-to-back with Japan on the previous draft of the 2017 calendar. Meanwhile the US and Mexico will remain paired.
Apparently the new 20-race calendar (with Brazil still TBC) was agreed at the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Vienna on Wednesday.
Here’s the 2017 F1 calendar:
- Australian Grand Prix – March 26
- Chinese Grand Prix – April 9
- Bahrain Grand Prix – April 16
- Russian Grand Prix – April 30
- Spanish Grand Prix – May 14
- Monaco Grand Prix – May 28
- Canadian Grand Prix – June 11
- European Grand Prix – June 25
- Austrian Grand Prix – July 9
- British Grand Prix – July 16
- Hungarian Grand Prix – July 30
- Belgian Grand Prix – August 27
- Italian Grand Prix – September 3
- Singapore Grand Prix – September 17
- Malaysian Grand Prix – October 1
- Japanese Grand Prix – October 8
- United States Grand Prix – October 22
- Mexican Grand Prix – October 29
- Brazilian Grand Prix – November 12 (*TBC)
- Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – November 26