Formula 1 will have its first triple header next year with the French, Austrian and British Grands Prix all due to take place on consecutive weekends.
The return of the French and German Grands Prix in 2018 prompted some headaches for F1’s chiefs in trying to fit in enough races into their traditional slots in the calendar.
But in a draft schedule released following a meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in Geneva, France has been handed a June 24 slot and will be followed on subsequent weekends by the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone events.
It means there will be no clash between F1 and the Le Mans 24 Hours, although the French Grand Prix will take place just a week after the endurance classic.
Other changes to the calendar include the Azerbaijan Grand Prix taking a slot in late April, with the Russian GP moving to September, where it will form a back-to-back with the Japanese GP.
The races in China and Singapore remain subject to confirmation of deals with the commercial rights holder.
“We wanted to finalise 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,” said F1 boss Chase Carey.
“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.”
FIA president Jean Todt added: “Alongside our partners in Formula 1 and across the FIA’s major championships we have been working hard in recent months to achieve greater harmony among the various sporting calendars and reaching an early agreement on the 2018 Formula 1 schedule is part of this ongoing process.
“The FIA would also like to welcome back the French and German Grands Prix to the calendar, as both have a long and rich tradition in the sport.
“In that regard the FIA is particularly pleased that Formula 1 will once again return to France, the historic home of grand prix racing, and to the Circuit Paul Ricard, which last hosted the event in 1990.”
Dates and Venues
March 25 – Melbourne – Australia
April 8 – Shanghai* – China
April 15 – Sakhir – Bahrain
April 29 – Baku – Azerbaijan
May 13 – Barcelona – Spain
May 27 – Monaco – Monaco
June 10 – Montreal – Canada
June 24 – Le Castellet – France
July 1 – Spielberg – Austria
July 8 – Silverstone – Great Britain
July 22 – Hockenheim – Germany
July 29 – Budapest – Hungary
August 26 – Spa-Francorchamps – Belgium
September 2 – Monza – Italy
September 16 – Singapore* – Singapore
September 30 – Sochi – Russia
October 7 – Suzuka – Japan
October 21 – Austin – USA
October 28 – Mexico City – Mexico
November 11 – Sao Paolo – Brazil
November 25 – Yas Marina – Abu Dhabi
*Subject to approval