Baku grand prix set for July slot in 2016 Formula 1 calendar

Formula 1's newest grand prix in Baku looks likely to get a July date next year as part of a tweaked 21-race 2016 schedule being considered by the sport's bosses

Baku grand prix set for July slot in 2016 Formula 1 calendar

A significant reorganisation of the calendar is anticipated, with potential moves for Malaysia and Russia and increased back-to-back races creating a mid-year gap for Azerbaijan.

An announcement by Australian GP organisers that their season-opener will take place on April 3 hinted at a new-look condensed F1 schedule with more back-to-back events.

AUTOSPORT revealed on Tuesday that the current plan is for the Melbourne event to be twinned with the Chinese GP at Shanghai on April 10.

It is understood that the traditional second race, Malaysia, may be moved much later in the campaign as part of a request lodged with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone when it announced a new deal until 2018 earlier this year.

One possibility is that Malaysia could be twinned with the Singapore GP to form an Asian double-header that could boost overseas fans' interest because of the attraction of seeing two races at nearby venues.

Such a change would force a reshuffling of other events at that end of the calendar, with Russia potentially forming part of a double-header with Bahrain after the Australia/China opener.

The Baku event, which will run under the European Grand Prix banner, is expected to be fitted in during the middle part of the campaign.

DIETER RENCKEN: How could F1 risk losing Monza for Baku?

A July 17 slot is most logical for Azerbaijan, with a gap in the calendar available if Britain and Austria, plus Germany and Hungary, run as back-to-back events.

Germany has been put back on the provisional calendar, despite dropping off this year when a deal to run the race could not be agreed with promoters.

Although there is no official confirmation yet about the provisional calendar, and changes always take place before it is ratified by the FIA in December, AUTOSPORT has pieced together how the 2016 schedule could look based on current information:

HOW THE 2016 F1 CALENDAR COULD LOOK

April 3 - Australia (Albert Park)
April 10 - China (Shanghai)
April 24 - Bahrain (Sakhir)
May 1 - Russia (Sochi)
May 15 - Spain (Barcelona)
May 29 - Monaco (Monte Carlo)
June 12 - Canada (Montreal)
June 26 - Britain (Silverstone)
July 3 - Austria (Red Bull Ring)
July 17 - Europe (Baku)
July 31 - Germany (Hockenheim)
August 7 - Hungary (Hungaroring)
August 28 - Belgium (Spa)
September 4 - Italy (Monza)
September 18 - Singapore (Marina Bay)
September 25 - Malaysia (Sepang)
October 9 - Japan (Suzuka)
October 23 - USA (Austin)
October 30 - Mexico (Mexico City)
November 13 - Brazil (Interlagos)
November 27 - Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)

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Analysis: Why Formula 1 is having a calendar shake-up for 2016

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