Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, Paul Ricard, 2016

2018 race schedule features F1’s first triple-header

2018 F1 calendarPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The French Grand Prix will return as part of an unprecedented triple-header of races on the 2018 F1 calendar.

The Paul Ricard circuit will hold the first French race since 2008. It will kick off races on three consecutive weekends, followed consecutively by the Austrian and British Grands Prix.

Next year’s calendar will feature 21 races, equalling the record for the longest ever schedule. The Malaysian Grand Prix will not be held after this year, but the German Grand Prix will return at the Hockenheimring.

Azerbaijan’s round of the world championship will move forward in the year, taking the place previously held by the Russian Grand Prix. The latter will move closer to its original calendar slot, taking the place held by the Malaysian round this year.

Two races remain subject to final confirmation. Commercial arrangements have not yet been finalised with the promoters of the races in China and Singapore.

Next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours is to be held on June 16th and 17th and therefore will not clash with any round of the 2018 world championship. However the Indianapolis 500 will again take place on the same day as the Monaco Grand Prix.

Round Race Date Forum
1 Australian Grand Prix March 23 – 25 Forum
2 Chinese Grand Prix April 6 – 8 Forum
3 Bahrain Grand Prix April 13 – 15 Forum
4 Azerbaijani Grand Prix April 27 – 29 Forum
5 Spanish Grand Prix May 11 – 13 Forum
6 Monaco Grand Prix May 24 – 27 Forum
7 Canadian Grand Prix June 8 – 10 Forum
8 French Grand Prix June 22 – 24 Forum
9 Austrian Grand Prix June 29 – July 1 Forum
10 British Grand Prix July 6 – 8 Forum
11 German Grand Prix July 20 – 22 Forum
12 Hungarian Grand Prix July 27 – 29 Forum
13 Belgian Grand Prix August 24 – 26 Forum
14 Italian Grand Prix August 31 – September 2 Forum
15 Singapore Grand Prix September 14 – 16 Forum
16 Russian Grand Prix September 28 – 30 Forum
17 Japanese Grand Prix October 5 – 7 Forum
18 United States Grand Prix October 19 – 21 Forum
19 Mexican Grand Prix October 26 – 28 Forum
20 Brazilian Grand Prix November 9 – 11 Forum
21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix November 23 – 25 Forum

This article will be updated.

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57 comments on “2018 race schedule features F1’s first triple-header”

  1. I fully expect this to become a more regular occurrence, for instance Spain, Portugal and Monaco can be a triple header, as could Long Beach, Austin, Mexico, or even a China, Malaysia, Singapore triple header if they wanted

    1. @sam3110 absolutely, it would save them having to transport everything / everyone home and back out again.

      I’m slightly surprised they’ve decided to do it actually in the UK / Europe where the teams are all based, but I suppose it makes sense.

    2. Duncan Snowden
      19th June 2017, 17:15

      It’s interesting that one of the three is Britain. On the face of it, France/Austria/Germany would make more sense (or, even better, since Paul Ricard is in the south, putting Belgium and Germany together; the Nurburgring and Spa are only about 50 miles apart), so my guess is that they’re trying to soften the blow by throwing in the majority of teams’ home race as one of the three.

      I suspect there’ll be a lot more resistance to “flyaway” triple-headers. Which isn’t to say they won’t happen, since FOM and the FIA seem to want more races and there are only so many weekends in the year, but I’m sure the teams will be less happy about them.

      1. Isn’t the German GP going to be Hockenheim?

        1. Yes @Coling is right, there Duncan Snowden, the German race is going to be at Hockenheim. Still not very far from Spa, but not the 50 km you mentioned.
          From a logistics point of view it would make sense to have the French GP, the Austrian GP then the German GP and then the British GP (keeping Spa after the summer break).
          Putting Spa in between the German and UK GPs would also make sense for logistics, although I guess the cars would need to go back to the factory after an intensive 3 week/race haul anyway for refurbishing.

    3. Boavista, Estorial, Portimao

      Is still free to dream right?

      1. “Boavista”!! :D:D:D

        But I was really sad (although I expected it) not to see Portugal up there… :/

    4. Bad idea for circuits though. As less fans may visit a race if there’s another one nearby the weekend after!

      1. Drop prices a bit and there will be MORE fans who’d visit all three, instead of not visiting even one.

        1. Both are true I think.

          Maybe it’s better to combine say Hungary, Belgium and Italy, rather than France, Belgium and Germany. That way it’s still easily do-able in a back-to-back-to-back and you’re not fishing in 1 pool of fans.

      2. @sato113 @jeffreyj Most people will just attend one of any two given geographically nearby races regardless of the gap between them. As long as there are two or more races in the same geographical area, there will be competition for attendees regardless of how close to each other or far apart from each other the races are on the calendar, so in the end, the gap between them makes zero difference. The 1 or 5% who could afford to attend both would most likely rather attend both if they were back-to-backs to avoid travelling to the same part of the world separately twice in the same year.

        1. I was referring to more like a few people with the ‘1 or 5%’ part.

  2. I’m surprised about this layout, especially with Baku so early, however it makes sense.

    I’m also surprised to hear it’s the first ever triple-header, I’d thought they’d done it before, but I’m not surprised they’re doing it. I’m excited for it though, will be very nice knowing there’s a period where it’s F1 straight for three weeks :)

  3. Doesn’t Austria-French-British make more sense than the current French-Austria-British?

    1. I thought that but I guess at that distance most will go back to their bases in the UK anyway between races.

    2. How about German-Austrian-Hungarian? 1 100 kilometres overall.

      1. How about Paul Ricard – Monaco – Monza at about 500km;)

  4. Will India ever return?

    1. Unlikely. The tax impacts that have recently been announced – coupled with what many professional journalists call a huge nest of red tape just to go and report on the race (never mind the red tape for the teams) will make a return simply unpalatable for F1 in general.

    2. Doubt it. Especially since the Indian government is trying to get some additional funds from FOM for ‘unpaid taxes’ during the years the race was hosted there. In short, FOM didn’t bribe all the necessary people in India, and now it looks like there won’t be any F1 races in India anytime soon.

  5. I was hoping to get to the French Grand Prix next year, but as part of the triple header with the British GP it’s too close in timings now!

    Paul Ricard Circuit is relatively close to Monaco, as usual we can expect to see the schedules jiggled around year to year.

    Very demanding for the teams, a relentless three races. Be interesting to see how they plan upgrades in around those three races.

    1. There’s no such thing as races that follow each other “too closely” in F1. The 2 week gaps between races already feel like an eternity.

  6. I see a lot of comments about logistics, but the transport itself isn’t always that expensive. Really logistics is often the 1% of the cost of a product. It might be more expensive to have your truck drive from Spain to Spa, and let it rest there for a week for example than actually flying over everything to Britain and then again to Spa.

    1. That cost should be “baked in the cake” as Americans would say. Whether you are flying home or to another race is nominal. It’s exciting to have potential for even more races. If NASCAR can do 36 races in a season 25 is no problem. The TV partners ( and that’s who Liberty really caters to) would love more races and the teams would get on board. Liberty is exploring adding at least 2 more American races for 2019.

      1. Nascar is US based, F1 is a global series. There is a big difference in 36 Nascar races vs. 20-25 F1 races

        1. I know NASCAR is US based, I see it every week. However the U.S. is ROUGHLY the size of Europe land wise and some races are 2000~ miles apart. The point is that life goes on and the travel is possible. I hope to have back to back races in the US one day. (Indy/Austin)

          1. @Jay Really good point there about the amount of travel within the US by NASCAR. In reality, be it NASCAR, F1, or any series, they’re still packing everything up every weekend into trucks that are either driven to an airport or to the next nearby race, and unpacking it all again. It becomes a matter of how many races in a row can the teams handle, but then also amongst everything to consider like costs etc etc, how saturated do they dare make the series.

            I’m undecided as to what F1 should do, and I lean toward more races because I love F1, but even if they were to go to 25 races a season, the majority of them would have at least a two week break in between, therefore much less of a ‘grind’ than NASCAR with it’s weekends off being the exception not the rule.

            I can’t see Liberty not adding another US race in the not too distant future, and I can’t see why those shouldn’t be back to back, or at least have one before/after Canada, and one before/after Mexico later in the season for more impactful presence in North America.

            I think it also should be said that the vibe Liberty and Brawn thankfully are putting out is that they want a more enthralling series with closer racing and are putting together the ingredients for that, which will only add to peoples’ enthusiasm for more races, imho, vs a risk of saturation.

          2. @Robbie I don’t know about you but F1 never feels over-saturated to me because there are enough consistent breaks. Credit to F1’s global appeal and different countries visited. Each race feels like an event and the tracks are very different.

  7. I see a potential missed opportunity in this calendar. What they could have done is the following:

    Azerbaijan Apr 27-29
    Spain May 4 – 6

    France May 18 – 20
    Monaco May 24 – 27

    France would not suffer by being held in May weather wise. Paul Ricard is very close to Monaco and then there would be no need for the triple header and 5 races in 6 weeks.

    I also cannot quite see why it makes sense to go from Italy to Singapore, then Russia then Japan. Why not Russia after Italy and then Singapore and Japan as a back to back?

    1. @phil-f1-21 Exactly. I fully agree with especially the last paragraph. It should be either this way:
      Russia September 16
      Singapore September 30
      Japan October 7
      or this way:
      Singapore September 16
      Japan September 23
      Russia October 7

  8. Good, but here are my alternative versions which would be better:
    1. Australia March 25
    2. China April 8
    3. Bahrain April 15
    4. Azerbaijan April 29
    5. Spain May 13
    6. Monaco May 27
    7. Canada June 10
    8. France June 24
    9. Austria July 1
    10. Britain July 8
    11. Germany July 22
    12. Hungary 29
    13. Belgium 26
    14. Italy September 2
    15. Singapore September 16
    16. Japan September 23
    17. Russia October 7
    18. USA October 21
    19. Mexico October 28
    20. Brazil November 11
    21. Abu Dhabi November 25
    or
    1. Australia March 25
    2. China April 8
    3. Bahrain April 15
    4. Azerbaijan April 29
    5. Spain May 13
    6. Monaco May 27
    7. Canada June 10
    8. France June 24
    9. Austria July 1
    10. Britain July 8
    11. Germany July 22
    12. Hungary 29
    13. Belgium 26
    14. Italy September 2
    15. Russia September 16
    16. Singapore September 30
    17. Japan October 7
    18. USA October 21
    19. Mexico October 28
    20. Brazil November 11
    21. Abu Dhabi November 25
    and for Melbourne to get their more desired mid-March slot:
    1. Australia March 18
    2. Bahrain April 1
    3. China April 15
    4. Azerbaijan April 22
    5. Spain May 6
    6. Monaco May 20
    7. Canada June 3
    (Le Mans 24h June 9-10)
    8. France June 17
    9. Austria June 24
    10. Britain July 8
    11. Germany July 22
    12. Hungary 29
    13. Belgium 26
    14. Italy September 2
    15. Russia September 16
    16. Singapore September 30
    17. Japan October 7
    18. USA October 21
    19. Mexico October 28
    20. Brazil November 11
    21. Abu Dhabi November 25

    Notes:
    1. Singapore-Japan double header would make more sense logistically than Russia-Japan, but if it would have to be the latter one then at the very least they should switch the order of the two (Japan and Russia) to make it easier jet-lag wise.
    2. In my third version, the reason I’d pair Azerbaijan with China rather than Bahrain despite the distance is climate as the mid-April slot would be better for the Chinese GP temperature-wise than the late-March/early April slot as the probability of the temperatures being unfavorably low for F1 in Shanghai in mid-April is lower than 14 days earlier in the spring.

  9. Liberty is setting the stage beautifully for an expanded schedule. I was slammed in the 25 race post for suggesting back to back to back races. It makes perfect sense. I stand my suggestion than the 2nd week of preseason testing should be a race and the season should start and end with 3 consecutive races.

  10. Hockenheim is back, but will it last?

  11. I love the direction that F1 is headed. Is it true to say though that next year will be the first not to be available on any free to air television?

    1. Ryan (@ryannema17)
      20th June 2017, 22:41

      From 2019 onwards

  12. speaking of france, what is their plan in terms of amenities and grandstands? It appears that apart from the long straight, there arent many grandstands on any of the turns. Are they going to build any this year or will they go temporary a la Montreal?

  13. Sergey Martyn
    20th June 2017, 4:28

    Could please someone tell me where F1 logistics department is?
    I want to apply for the head of department to fire all the dimwits who never seen the world map and send the escadrons of jumbo jets back and forth across the globe – from Italy to Singapore, then back to Russia and finally to Japan! Logistic of great mystery and twisted imagination.

      1. +2. Dimwits is a compliment. Instead of Monza>Russia>Singapore>Japan they do this

  14. Next year’s calendar will feature 21 races, equalling the record for the longest ever schedule.

    And teams will be expected to complete those 21 races with just three engines per car. The requirement to make engines and other powertrain items last for several races is already having a negative impact on the racing, and that’s only going to get worse.

  15. Wow. Abu Dhabi sure do have F1’s wallet…. errmmm I mean ear, ear!

    1. @maciek I don’t think it’s a bad place to end the season. Yes, it hasn’t really produced great racing like some other circuits, but neither has Brazil in dry conditions in recent years.

      1. @jerejj you cannot seriously be equating those two tracks

        1. @maciek Yes, because the quality of racing on those two circuits has been similar to each other in the same type of weather conditions in recently.

          1. That doesn’t change the fact that one is good, has history, a real fan base, is set on properly interesting terrain and everybody loves it, while the other has none, nil and zero of any of those things and stands as a glaringly horrendous example of everything that was wrong with Ecclestone’s handling of the sport.

  16. I really don’t know how they come up with those twisted calendars. It’s all logical up until the triple header. But then:

    1) The triple header should be France>UK>Austria or UK>FR>AUT or AUT>FR>UK. Anything but the proposed FR>AUT>UK which doesn’t make sense.

    2) As pointed above by others ITA>SIN>RUS>JAP doesn’t make any sense. ITA>RUS>SIN>JAP does.

  17. I prefer the old Hockenheim…

  18. I hope they change the paint in all the run off areas at Paul Ricard, it hurts my eyes and does not look good on TV!

  19. Rick Lopez (@viscountviktor)
    20th June 2017, 12:27

    I’m quite sad Malaysia has gone it’s a fantastic circuit, and yet we keep Russia which has never delivered an exciting race and never will.

    1. @viscountviktor In 2015 it did deliver an exciting race.

  20. Paul Ricard is a horrible track imho.

    No real overtaking/wheel to wheel sections, rather narrow and on the TV screen you can’t tell the difference between the track or a canvas where Picasso threw up on.

  21. Ahhh, Abu Dhabi is the WORST for a final race. If they want excitement put Brazil as the last race every season & do a post season test earlier or later on.

  22. Montreal, Austin, Mexico and Brazil should be back to back. In my opinion.

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