Looks like Formula 1 will be having 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 French and German Grands Prix in 2018 caused some headaches for F1's chiefs trying to squeeze in enough races into their traditional calendar slots. But the new draft schedule released after a meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sports Council in Geneva, France has been given a June 24th slot and will be followed by the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone events!
There are additional changes to the calendar, including the Azerbaijan Grand Prix take 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 FIA has also confirmed the Le Mans 24 Hours will be happening on June 16/17 - this means the famous sportscar race will avoid a clash with a Grand Prix for the second year in succession!
F1 chairman and CEO, Chase Carey, said a lot of effort went into preparing the calendar in advance than previous years.
"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", says Carey. He adds that the number of races has increased by one compared to the current season, saying "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".
Here is the 2018 Formula 1 Calendar:
March 25 - Melbourne, Australia
April 8 - Shanghai, China
April 15 - Sakhir, Bahrain
April 29 - Baku, Azerbaijan
May 13 - Barcelona, Spain
May 27 - Monaco
June 10 - Montreal, Canada
June 24 - Paul Ricard, France
July 1 - Red Bull Ring, Australia
July 8 - Silverstone, Great Britain
July 22 - Hockenheim, Germany
July 29 - Hungaroring, Hungary
August 26 - Spa, Belgium
September 2 - Monza, Italy
September 16 - Singapore
September 30 - Sochi, Russia
October 7 - Suzuka, Japan
October 21 - Austin, USA
October 28 - Mexico City, Mexico
November 11 - Interlagos, Brazil
November 25 - Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi