Abu Dhabi will remain F1's season-ending race next year but CEO Bernie Ecclestone has "calmed fears the calendar could extend into December to create a bigger gap between Singapore and Malaysia," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS.
Ecclestone: "I think we can escape going into December, otherwise it's getting a bit too near Christmas." The '16 calendar remains "very much a work in progress, with the 21-race draft version published in July sure to see some changes before being cast in stone later in the year."
Ecclestone confirmed Malaysia was set for a new slot, yet to be decided. He said, "I'm going to move that a little bit. I don't know (where), I'm having a look now."
Malaysia, the second round of the '15 season, had been penciled in as the 13th round of '16 with a Sept. 25 date, the weekend after Singapore's night grand prix. While the Sepang circuit organizers had "no qualms about being back-to-back" with their neighbors' "more glamorous race, paddock reports suggested the Singaporeans were less enthusiastic."
Ecclestone had suggested last week that the season, due to end in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 27, "could be stretched into December to keep the Southeast Asian races apart." Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams said that the sport's core Strategy Group "would discuss the calendar, and the reduced break, at their next meeting." She said, "It does worry us and it's something that we'll be putting on the agenda." Reuters
|Will a December date improve Sepang's sparse crowd?|
(GMM) F1's race calendar for 2016 looks set for another radical change.
According to the provisional schedule, the unprecedentedly-long 21-race calendar will start later than usual next year, cutting into the summer break.
But the team bosses were not impressed with that plan.
"The travelling staff need to have that summer break and if we don't do that we're going to burn them out or we're going to have to bring in a second crew," said Force India's Bob Fernley at Monza.
So it emerges that moves are afoot to restore the full summer break for 2016. But that may only be achieved by shifting the Malaysian grand prix.
Sepang had provisionally been paired with the popular night race Singapore, but the British broadcaster Sky said on Friday that Malaysia was not happy with that prospect.
Malaysia may now be moved to the very end of the schedule, perhaps just before the Abu Dhabi finale, which will now push into early to mid-December.
"Christmas Eve I think," Bernie Ecclestone joked, according to the Guardian newspaper.
09/04/15 With the Malaysia race dying, the circuit has asked for a date in a cooler time of year. Rumor has it that Bernie Ecclestone has agreed to help them and they may be the season finale in 2016, as late as December. Autosport has put together an updated provisional 2016 F1 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 – Europe (Baku)
July 31 – Germany
August 7 – Hungary
August 28 – Belgium (potentially September 4)
September 4 – Italy (potentially September 11)
September 18 – Singapore (potentially September 25)
October 9 – Japan
October 23 – USA
October 30 – Mexico
November 13 – Brazil
November 27 – Abu Dhabi
December 4 – Malaysia (Potentially December 11th)