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Revised 2017 F1 calendar trimmed to 20 races, avoids Le Mans clash

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The FIA has issued a revised calendar for the 2017 Formula 1 season following the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Vienna, Austria on Wednesday.

As expected, the German Grand Prix has dropped off the schedule for the second time in three years after Hockenheim was unable to come to an agreement with F1 officials to host the race.

The Brazilian Grand Prix was thought to be in doubt amid negotiations between F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone and track officials, but has now been confirmed to be going ahead in 2017.

With Germany falling off the calendar, the mid-summer rounds have shifted dates that now ensure there will be no clash between Le Mans and the grand prix in Baku, Azerbaijan as there was in 2016.

The Baku race has now been renamed the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, having been held as the European Grand Prix in 2016 for its inaugural running.

After Germany’s demise, the races in Azerbaijan, Austria, Great Britain and Hungary will all be held one week later than originally planned, before the summer break at the end of August.

The races in Singapore and Malaysia have swapped dates from the provisional schedule, while the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas sticks to its October 22 date as planned. It will however now be back-to-back with Mexico, which had originally been set for two weeks after the race at the Circuit of The Americas.

Here is the updated schedule in full.

2017 Formula 1 Calendar

1. Australia – March 26
2. China – April 9
3. Bahrain – April 16
4. Russia – April 30
5. Spain – May 14
6. Monaco – May 28
7. Canada – June 11
8. Azerbaijan – June 25
9. Austria – July 9
10. Britain – July 16
11. Hungary – July 30
12. Belgium – August 27
13. Italy – September 3
14. Singapore – September 17
15. Malaysia – October 1
16. Japan – October 8
17. USA – October 22
18. Mexico – October 29
19. Brazil – November 12
20. Abu Dhabi – November 26

Hamilton tops second Abu Dhabi F1 practice with new track record

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Lewis Hamilton swept to the top of the timesheets in second Formula 1 practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday evening, beating Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel by one-tenth of a second.

Hamilton trailed Vettel through the daytime-run opening practice session, but managed to strike back by recording a new track record at the Yas Marina Circuit for Mercedes.

Hamilton recorded a fastest lap time of 1:37.877 to finish one-tenth of a second clear of Vettel at the checkered flag, appearing to have an edge across a single lap on the ultra-soft tire.

Red Bull threw its hat into the ring as a possible rival for pole through Daniel Ricciardo, who finished the session third-fastest, three-tenths of a second back from Hamilton at the head of the field.

Kimi Raikkonen ended FP2 in fourth place in the sister Ferrari, finishing within half a second of Hamilton, and managed to edge out fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas, who was a further two-tenths back in P5.

Max Verstappen failed to get in a quick flying lap during FP2, ending the session one second down in P6 for Red Bull.

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon’s tight intra-team fight at Force India continued through FP2 as the pair were separated by just 0.01 seconds, taking seventh and eighth respectively to finish as the leading midfield drivers.

Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso completed the top 10 for Renault and McLaren, with Felipe Massa following in 11th for Williams on his final Friday appearance in F1.

Massa was fortunate to avoid an accident with Ricciardo during the final 15 minutes of the session after a mix up at the hairpin when the Brazilian tried to get a wider line for the back straight.

Running in Abu Dhabi continues with final practice at Yas Marina on Saturday morning from 5am ET on the NBC Sports app, followed by qualifying at 8am ET on NBCSN.