Silverstone set for June date in 2016

Nico Hulkenberg in action during the 2015 British Grand Prix at Silverstone
Nico Hulkenberg in action during the 2015 British Grand Prix at Silverstone

The FIA, governing body of world motorsport, have released a provisional calendar for the 2016 F1 season following a meeting of their World Council in Mexico last week, writes James Beckett.

The F1 World Championship looks set to expand to a 21-race schedule, making it the largest calendar in the history of the sport, with Silverstone to host the eighth race of the season - the British Grand Prix - on June 26.

The season will kick-off in Australia at the beginning of April, slightly later than in recent years, and there will be a new addition to the calendar when Azerbaijan hosts the Baku Grand Prix.

The German Grand Prix, a major event for the Brackley-based Mercedes AMG Petronas squad, is likely to return although it is not yet known if the race will take place at the Nurburgring or at Hockenheim.

Another change in the calendar will see the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi moved from October to May. Force India driver, Nico Hulkenberg, who hopes to combine his F1 duties with defending his Le Mans 24-Hour Race title in 2016 said: “It is always good to hear of the new calendar and what is planned for the future.

“I am happy to see the German Grand Prix included once again. I am really enjoying my 2015 season, winning Le Mans was a highlight and my F1 year is going well too with Force India.

“We have a competitive car and the team are working very hard to make sure we can continue to be in the points at all the races.”

Provisional calendar: Australia (April 3); China (April 10); Bahrain (April 24); Russia (May 1); Spain (May 15); Monaco (May 29); Canada (June 12); Britain (June 26); Austria (July 3); Baku (July 17); Germany (July 31); Hungary (August 7); Belgium (August 28); Italy (September 4); Singapore (September 18); Malaysia (September 25); Japan (October 9); USA (October 23); Mexico (October 30); Brazil (November 13); Abu Dhabi (November 27).