Formula One Management (FOM), the commercial rights holders of F1, has confirmed that an advanced copy of the 2016 F1 season has been leaked.
In a statement made earlier today, FOM formally announced that “It would appear that the proposed 2016 calendar has been leaked. This calendar has not yet been approved.”
Despite emphasizing that the schedule has not yet been finalised, the leak which was revealed by Autosport seemed to highlight FOM’s intentions of next year’s calendar. Again, this provisional calendar features 21 races just as last year’s did.
It’s definitely not a secret that Bernie Ecclestone has been pushing for more than 20 races to be held in a season, and by pushing the start of the season back to April, he may finally get his way.
If ratified, the season would start in Australia on April 3 and finish in Abu Dhabi on November 27, featuring seven back-to-back races. The mid-season summer break would be cut back to three weeks, giving teams only one week to work on upgrades as team factories must be shut down during two of the summer break weeks.
The move to push the start of the season to April will eliminate three-week breaks which will help the continuaty of the sport and retain interest from fans. We are currently in a three week break between the last Grand Prix in Bahrain and the next one in Spain.
The Malaysian Grand Prix would move from its current slot of being the second race of the season to run as a double-header with Singapore, which would prove to be much more cost-effective for teams. Russia would move up the order from October to early May.
The leaked calendar also features the German GP which was dropped for 2015, as well as the under-threat Italian GP.
The proposed 2016 calendar:
April 3: Australia (Albert Park)
April 10: China (Shanghai)
April 24: Bahrain (Sakhir)
May 1: Russia (Sochi)
May 15: Spain (Barcelona)
May 29: Monaco (Monte Carlo)
June 12: Canada (Montreal)
June 26: Britain (Silverstone)
July 3: Austria (Red Bull Ring)
July 17: Europe (Baku)
July 31: Germany (Hockenheim)
August 7: Hungary (Hungaroring)
August 28: Belgium (Spa)
September 4: Italy (Monza)
September 18: Singapore (Marina Bay)
September 25: Malaysia (Sepang)
October 9: Japan (Suzuka)
October 23: USA (Austin)
October 30: Mexico (Mexico City)
November 13: Brazil (Interlagos)
November 27: Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
Image via Sutton Images