The FIA's World Motor Sport Council has given the green light to a 21-stop F1 schedule for 2016, Formula One World Championship

The provisional calendar for next season not only sees the return of the German Grand prix, which was axed after Hockenheim proved unable to step in and host amid the ongoing financial woes of the Nurburgring, but also the anticipated addition of a race in Baku, as Azerbaijan hosts its first ever F1 race.

The season will start in Australia but, as rumoured, three weeks later than usual, on 3 April, with China, rather than Malaysia - which switches places with Sochi to move to the end of the year - forming an opening double-header on what appears to be a more compact calendar, despite the increase in events. The campaign will still finish on the final weekend of November, again under the lights of Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi.

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Germany returns to its usual summer spot, but on the final weekend of July rather than in the middle, shunting Hungary into early August as the two races again go back-to-back. There will still be a three week gap between trips to the Hungaroring and Spa-Francorchamps, although the 'traditional' summer break between the two events will be shorter than in the past.

To make room for Baku on 17 July, the British Grand Prix moves to late June, while Austria, which kick-started the return to Europe after the trans-Atlantic sojourn to Montreal, remains on the first weekend of July. There was no attempt to pair Canada and the USA, given the summer heat in Austin, and the Texan race remains in an October double-header with Mexico, which returns to the schedule later this year after a 20+ year absence.

In all, there will be seven back-to-back pairings, with Australia/China joined by Bahrain/Russia, Britain/Austria, Germany/Hungary, Belgium/Italy, Singapore/Malaysia and USA/Mexico.

The full calendar is as follows, subject to the usual checks on venues:

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