FOM confirms proposed 2016 F1 calendar has been leaked

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Formula One Management (FOM) has confirmed that the proposed calendar for the 2016 F1 season has been leaked.

Earlier this week, the Australian Grand Prix corporation confirmed that it would be hosting its annual race in Melbourne on April 3 2016, two weeks later than normal.

However, the AGPC said that it would remain as the opening race of the season, meaning that the 2016 campaign would get off to a later start.

A report by Autosport constructed a theoretical calendar for the 2016 season that saw a number of races change slots whilst keeping the Australian Grand Prix as the first round and the finale in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

On Wednesday, FOM released a short statement in reaction to the calendar speculation:

“It would appear that the proposed 2016 calendar has been leaked. This calendar has not yet been approved.”

The calendar published by Autosport features 21 races, with the 19 rounds of 2015 being joined by the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim and the revived Grand Prix of Europe in Baku, Azerbaijan. The latter race is set for July 17.

Judging by this calendar, there will be more back-to-back races, with the Chinese Grand Prix becoming the second race of the year in the week following Australia. The Malaysian Grand Prix will move to a mid-September slot, going back-to-back with the Singapore Grand Prix.

The United States Grand Prix is set to remain in the same slot for 2016, being held one week before the Mexican Grand Prix towards the end of October.

FOM’s statement does confirm that the calendar put together by Autosport is very close to what is being planned for 2016, but still could be subject to change.

A condensed F1 season would give teams more time during the winter to prepare for the new season, whilst more back-to-back races could aid TV figures and keep fans interested across the course of the season.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.