The 2016 Formula 1 season is set to be extended until December, the sport’s boss Bernie Ecclestone has revealed.
Malaysian GP could be in line to host the final race of the 2016 F1 season in an attempt to separate it from the Singapore GP on the schedule.
The provisional calendar for next season, FIA released last July, scheduled Abu Dhabi as hosting the season finale on November 27.
However, according to Ecclestone, the 21-race calendar could now be extended until either December 4 or December 11 to keep apart the Singapore and Malaysia GPs, which had been slated to take place back-to-back on September 18 and September 25.
“We’re putting Malaysia later on, into December, away from Singapore,” Ecclestone told Autosport.
“The Malaysians were happy, but the Singaporeans weren’t, so we decided to look into it. At this stage I don’t think we’ll need to change anything else.”
Some teams have expressed that their worry at the usual one-month summer break being cut to three weeks in August.
But, a three-week break in the schedule would emerge if the Malaysia GP was rescheduled in December, potentially paving the way for the Belgian, Italian and Singapore races to be moved back a week to increase the length of the summer shutdown.
“The travelling staff need to have that summer break and if we don’t do that we will either burn them out or we will have to bring in a second crew – either way, it’s not good for Formula 1,” Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley warned.
“The summer break, from my view and the view of Force India, must be retained at all costs.”
The provisional 2016 F1 calendar:
April 3 – Australia
April 10 – China
April 24 – Bahrain
May 1 – Sochi
May 15 – Spain
May 29 – Monaco
June 12 – Canada
June 26 – UK
July 3 – Austria
July 17 – Baku
July 31 – Germany
August 7 – Hungary
August 28 – Belgium
September 4 – Italy
September 18 – Singapore
September 25 – Malaysia
October 9 – Japan
October 23 – USA (Austin)
October 30 – Mexico
November 13 – Brazil
November 27 – Abu Dhabi