Changes in 2016 F1 schedule




The new 2016 calendar which was leaked earlier, suggested certain changes to the F1 calendar including the addition of a new venue along with certain other details. The Formula One management has come out saying that the leaked reports are still under discussions and none of them are approved. However, the leaked reports portray some new and interesting changes which cannot be ignored.

Changes in 2016 F1 schedule

Changes in 2016 F1 schedule

If those reports are true, then Formula One might well have a new venue in its 2016 Calendar in the form of the Baku Grand Prix. A July spot is most likely suggested for the Baku Grand Prix. The Baku race will be held under the European Grand Prix banner which was earlier carried by the race held at Valencia, till 2012.

Germany is back in the provisional venue list for next year. The race was cancelled after the sponsors walked out due to a dispute between Bernie Ecclestone and the race venue officials. German Grand Prix is most likely to be held in the Hockenheim Circuit next year. The Red Bull Ring of Austria is also in the list of probable venues which will be held in July around a week before the Baku Grand Prix.

There are some significant reorganisation and re-shuffling in terms of the next year’s Asian races. The Malaysian Grand Prix is to be reorganised later in the year with the Singaporean Grand Prix such that the two South-Asian races take place in successive weekends to make travel for the teams more effective. This will also keep the Asian audiences engaged for a longer time, followed by the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Malaysian Grand Prix has been also under a lot of stress economically with the Government subsidising the races since 2001. Only in the first two seasons of Formula One, did the venue manage to break even. Since then, the race which is usually the third in the season has seen a lot of decline in viewership and sponsor support in the South-Asian region. With the exit of the German and Korean Grand Prix which were scheduled before the start of the season, Formula One management has come under a lot of criticism regarding their high handedness, some even accusing the management on being more focused on earning money rather than promoting the sport.

There are 21 races to be held in 2016, starting with the usual Australian Grand Prix however, at a later than usual month of April. If that happens, it will the first time since 1988, a Formula One season started so late in the year. This will also be the first time so many races will be held in a Formula One season. China will be the second race of the season just a week after the race in Melbourne. The Italian Grand Prix is also on the provisional list but the contracts and details have yet to be signed out by the authorities. The last race will take place at the usual Abu Dhabi Circuit of Yas Marina. This will be also be a historic season for the teams as it would be the first time that seven races will be held on back-to-back weekends.

India too is trying to bring back the Indian Grand Prix however, it seems highly unlikely. Bernie Ecclestone, F1 supremo seems uninterested in India any more with the feud still between Formula One and the UP Government regarding tax issues unresolved in the court.

Although there is no official confirmation of these reports, Formula One management do not deny the facts leaked, instead suggested that more changes may be discussed and will be made official in due course of time. These changes seem to be a part of the overall restructuring that the Formula One management are trying to bring the sport back into its glory days.

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Anjan K Merkap

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