STUFFED CALENDAR: F1 will feature 21 races on its 2016 calendar, among them Azerbaijan and Germany. Image: AP / Darko Vojinovic
• Baku to make debut in July 2016
• Germany back on the calendar
• May 1 race for Russia
LONDON, England - Azerbaijan will make its Formula 1 debut in 2016 and Germany will return after a year's absence, according to a 21-race provisional calendar published by the sport's governing body on July 10 2015.
The Azerbaijan race, in the city of Baku, will be on July 17, sandwiched between Austria and Germany.
RUSSIAN RACE IN SOCHI
Malaysia has been moved to a September slot, right after neighbouring Singapore's floodlit GP, and Russia will be host on May 1* as the fourth race of the year a week after Bahrain.
The Malaysian GP had its debut in 1999 as the penultimate round of the calendar and staged the season finale in 2000 but moved to an early slot in 2001. This year's Russian GP will be in Sochi in October.
This year's (2015) calendar has 19 races, with Germany absent for financial reasons and Mexico back for the first time since 1992.
The 21-race calendar is a record number. Teams have voiced resistance in the past to stretching the calendar beyond 20 races because of the burden imposed on personnel.
Hockenheim is due to host 2016's German GP, home race for current champion team Mercedes, after turning down a chance to host it in 2015 after problems with the Nurburgring.
The late July date for Germany is later than usual, with Hungary pushed into August.
The April 3 date for Australia, which will be followed immediately by China, means the 2016 season will see the latest start to a championship since 1988 with more races than ever condensed into a shorter period.
The 1988 season also started on April 3 but in Brazil.
So, here’s the provisional calendar…
April 3 - Australia
April 10 - China
April 24 - Bahrain
May 1 - Russia
May 15 - Spain
May 29 - Monaco
June 12 - Canada
June 26 - Britain
July 3 - Austria
July 17 - Azerbaijan
July 31 - Germany
Aug 7 - Hungary
Aug 28 - Belgium
Sept 4 - Italy
Sept 18 - Singapore
Sept 25 - Malaysia
Oct 9 - Japan
Oct 23 - United States
Oct 30 - Mexico
Nov 13 - Brazil
Nov 27 - Abu Dhabi
* In 1918, May 1 became an important Russian public holiday, known as the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers, in the Soviet Union. Most Soviet cities had parades and obligatory workers' marches on that day until 1990. The Russian Parliament renamed the holiday as Spring and Labour Day in 1992.