29 Sep 2016

Uncertainty over three Grands Prix

8:03 am on 29 September 2016

The German, Canadian and Brazilian Grands Prix have been listed as subject to confirmation on a record-equalling 21 race provisional calendar for 2017.

F1 start Russia 2015

F1 start Russia 2015 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza, whose place had been doubtful up until this month's race when a deal was agreed if not signed, was listed in its usual September slot after Belgium.

Germany remains uncertain due to Hockenheim's stated reluctance to host a grand prix other than on alternate years and no deal with the Nuerburgring. The country's race was dropped in 2015.

Formula One's 85-year-old commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has also been pushing for improvements to Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, whose contract is up for renewal next year, and the Interlagos track in Sao Paulo.

Brazil is also suffering its deepest economic recession in decades.

Ecclestone had warned in June that the 2017 calendar could be reduced to 18 races, although Monza was seen as one of those on the hit list at the time.

With no races added, after the debut of Azerbaijan's Baku City Circuit this year, the main changes were date shifts and the reshuffling of some pairings.

There will be seven back-to-back pairings, and four in a row during the European part of the season.

Canada and Azerbaijan in June are on consecutive weekends, with the latter again clashing with the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race, as are Austria and Britain in July, Hungary and Germany at the end of that month and then Belgium and Italy.

Malaysia will precede Singapore, a reversal of this year, and stands alone on September 17th with the neighbouring night race on October 1st.

Singapore and Japan are back-to-back in October while Mexico's race, which is paired with Texas this year, was moved closer to Brazil with those two on November 5th and 12th respectively.

China's grand prix in Shanghai, the third round this year, reverts to being the second on April 9 and is back-to-back with Bahrain on April 16.

Australia hosts the opener in Melbourne on March 26, a week later than the 2016 season's March 20 race.

The finale will again be at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina on November 26.

- Reuters