FIA Confirms 20-Race Formula 1 Schedule For Next Year, Officially Drops German GP
Next year’s F1 season will feature 20 races following the cancelation of the German Grand Prix, FIA confirmed. The governing body's World Motor Sport Council unveiled the '17 F1 calendar at its annual general assembly in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday. The new season will kick off with the Australian Grand Prix on March 26 and conclude with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix exactly nine months later on Nov. 26. It will be the second time in three years that Germany, home of new F1 world champion Nico Rosberg and his Mercedes team, will not host a grand prix. Financial issues following the bankruptcy of the legendary Nürburgring in '12 forced the cancelation of the 2015 German Grand Prix at the track. The Nürburgring has been sharing the event's hosting rights with the Hockenheimring on an annual basis since '09. Though not originally its turn, Hockenheim, which hosted this year's German GP, was unable to reach a deal with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone to keep the race on the calendar in '17. The track, however, is expected to be back on the schedule in '18, the final year of its current contract with the series.
TRÈS BIEN: The Canadian and Brazilian races, which both had been in doubt, were officially confirmed by their inclusion on the schedule. The loss of the German GP made it possible for F1 to move the street race in Baku, Azerbaijan, back one week and avoid a clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race. The British Grand Prix has also been moved back by a week, which means the event now coincides with the inaugural Formula E race in N.Y. and the Wimbledon men’s singles final. The U.S. and Mexican races will once again be on back-to-back weekends on Oct. 22 and 29, respectively.