Ecclestone planning earlier start to 2016 season

Bernie Ecclestone is considering moving the Australian GP forward by a week as he attempts to finalise the 2016 F1 calendar.

The race is currently scheduled to open the season on April 3, but it’s understood that there is a good chance that it could be moved to March 27 when the World Motor Sport Council ratifies the calendar in next week’s meeting.

The complication is that that date also happens to be Easter Sunday, when many Melbourne residents would normally be going away for the weekend. It remains to be seen what impact that might have on attendance.

There would also be an impact on teams, who have already commenced with their carefully planned schedules of R&D, car build and crash testing, with the aim of being ready for a first test in Barcelona on March 1.

Either that test will have to move forward or the gap between it and Australia will have to shrink, leaving less time to finalise a Melbourne spec. Either choice will create some compromises.

It’s not yet clear how other races will be moved around to make the calendar work and create a summer break – which a task which has apparently been achieved. Ecclestone is also believed to have looked at a triple header in Europe

One of the key issues is that Singapore does not want to be twinned with Malaysia, while the latter does not want to return to the start of the season. It looks likely that several early season races could shuffle around.

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Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

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