The FIA have released race schedules for the 2016 Formula One world championship and the 2015/2016 Formula E world championship along with numerous immediate rule changes concerning both series. The calendars and rule changes were drawn up at a meeting of the World Motorsports Council in Mexico that took place this week.
Key changes to the Formula One calendar include the return of the German Grand Prix after it’s absence this year along with the debut of the Baku Street Circuit in Azerbaijan. The race in Baku will take place in-between the Austrian and German Grand Prix; with the Red Bull Round now taking place just after the British Grand Prix instead of just before.
Further changes comprise of the movement of the Malaysian and Russian Grand Prix. Malaysia now moves to it’s old spot near the end of the season, with Russia becoming the 4th round after Bahrain and before Spain. Finally the start of the season has been confirmed to take place on April 3rd in Australia, with the second round in China taking place just a week after in Shanghai.
Several changes to Formula One regulations have also been implemented with immediate effect, which include “the simplification of the power unit penalties, ensuring that the most a driver can be penalized is to be demoted to the rear of the grid – this will eliminate penalties during the race for these infractions” and that new power unit manufactures “will receive an extra power unit for each driver to use throughout Grands Prix for the season, bringing the total to five – one more than the existing power unit suppliers. This will be applied retrospectively to Honda.” These both resolve heavily criticized problems of late by drivers, teams, pundits and fans.
The FIA simultaneously revealed the calendar for the second season of the Formula E championship. The calendar largely remains the same except for the disappearance of the Monaco ePrix (which will alternate year-on-year with the Historic Monaco Grand Prix event), and the exciting addition of the Paris ePrix in France. There remains a spot vacant on the calendar in March that has yet to be filled.
Additionally, the FIA announced a few changes to the new super-license qualifications; starting with the introduction of the E-license; now required for a driver to race in Formula E. This consists of basic safety training regarding electric power.
In terms of the Formula One super-license changes, the series included on the points system have been enlarged, with the points altered to better demonstrate the strength of the season. This includes the Formula E championship, with the champion now able to gain a super-license should an opportunity in Formula One present itself. Finally, once earning a license, a driver will keep the license for up to 3 years even if they don’t take part in a race (for instance if they are a test driver).
Both newly announced schedules can be found in full below.
2016 Formula One world championship calendar:
2015/2016 Formula E world championship calendar:
17th October 2015
7th November 2015
19th December 2015
Punta del Este*
6th February 2016
19th March 2016
2nd April 2016
23rd April 2016
21st May 2016
4th June 2016
10 & 11
*Uruguay and Argentine rounds subject to FIA circuit homologation