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France & Germany return on provisional 21-race 2018 F1 calendar

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After meeting in Geneva today, the FIA’s World Motorsport Council has approved a provisional 21-race Formula 1 calendar for 2018 that starts in Australia on March 25 and finishes in Abu Dhabi exactly 8 months later, on November 25. France and Germany return on a calendar that is set to feature F1’s first triple header with the French, Austrian and British rounds taking place on consecutive weekends.

Talking points

  • Triple header: for the first time ever, F1 will stage races on three consecutive weekends. The returning French Grand Prix on June 24 will be followed by Austria on July 1 and Great Britain on July 8. The draft schedule features a further five double-headers (China/Bahrain, Germany/Hungary, Belgium/Italy, Russia/Japan and USA/Mexico).
  • France is back: the French Grand Prix returns after a 9-year absence. The race will be held at the Paul Ricard circuit on the French Riviera for the first time since 1990, and is scheduled for just one week after the Le Mans 24 hour race in late June. Sounds like a great plan for a motorsport holiday!
  • So is Germany: F1 returns to the Hockenheimring after a two-year absence, but the long-term future of the German Grand Prix as an annual fixture remains in doubt.
  • In doubt?: the race contracts in China and Singapore end in 2017, and with new contracts not yet announced, both races are listed as ‘subject to commercial rights holder confirmation’ for 2018.
  • Bye Bye Sepang: after 19 years, Malaysia will depart the F1 calendar in 2018. With dwindling attendances and limited local interest, the organizers have not been able to generate a sufficient return on their significant annual investment, and prefer to focus on the more popular MotoGP race.
  • Caucasus Changes: F1’s newest races in Russia and Azerbaijan have both had their race dates moved to accommodate the return of France and Germany. The Sochi event moves from April to September and Baku from June to April.
We wanted to finalize next season's calendar early, so that all our stakeholders would have more time to prepare and we have managed it, thanks in part through working closely with the FIA. The number of races has increased by one compared to the current season. We received numerous requests from those wishing to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix but we wanted the existing promoters to feel that we are putting all our efforts into ensuring that each race is a special event, so that the fans, our most important stakeholders, can enjoy a unique and unforgettable experience. If we can do that, then the entire Formula 1 family will reap the benefit.
Chase Carey, F1 boss

Not so fast…

Be careful with making firm travel plans (especially flight bookings) that cannot be cancelled or amended. The calendar will not be formally ratified until later this year, and some dates/venues may still change. Having said that, many events do start ticket sales up to one year in advance with good discounts (and the best choice of seats) for early birds, and our accommodation partner Booking.com offers free cancellation on many reservations. Click here to buy F1 tickets.

Click the destinations above to read our in-depth travel guides. We are planning new guides to the French and German Grands Prix in 2018! What do you think about the draft F1 calendar for 2018? Leave you comment below.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

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