The FIA has released a provisional 2018 Formula 1 World Championship calendar with the French Grand Prix confirmed to be returning to the schedule at Paul Ricard the weekend after next year's Le Mans 24 Hours takes place.

Germany will also return to the calendar at the Hockenheimring, while the Azerbaijan Grand Prix moves to an April slot and Russia switches to a late September spot in place of the axed Malaysian Grand Prix.

Revealed as part of the latest set of World Motorsport Council decisions, as expected the calendar will swell to 21 races once more with the Malaysian Grand Prix dropping off and the French Grand Prix being added, with the German Grand Prix also returning to the schedule after another short hiatus.

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Significantly, the French Grand Prix - which will take place at Le Castellet - has been slotted in the week after the Le Mans 24 Hours takes place on 24th June, creating the prospect of cross promotion after new owner Chase Carey attended the endurance event to flag the cars off this weekend.

It will form part of a triple-header between itself the British and Austrian Grands Prix, while it also appears to suggest the Silverstone race will go ahead as expected.

Germany returns to the calendar on 22nd July, with Hungary retaining its pre-summer break date slot.

The calendar order offers few other surprises, though the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is moved forward to become Round 4 and be held on 29th April, taking the spot of Russia which moves to 30th September in a back-to-back with the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Chinese and Singapore Grand Prix events remain 'subject to commercial rights holder confirmation'

Brazil, which had been subject to confirmation this year, is listed as confirmed.

2018 FIA Formula 1 Calendar

1. Australian Grand Prix - 25th March
2. Chinese Grand Prix - 8th April
3. Bahrain Grand Prix - 15th April
4. Azerbaijan Grand Prix - 29th April
5. Spanish Grand Prix - 13th May
6. Monaco Grand Prix - 27th May
7. Canadian Grand Prix - 10th June
8. French Grand Prix - 24th June
9. Austrian Grand Prix - 1st July
10. British Grand Prix - 8th July
11. German Grand Prix - 22nd July
12. Hungarian Grand Prix - 29th July
13. Belgium Grand Prix - 26th August
14. Italian Grand Prix - 2nd September
15. Singapore Grand Prix - 16th September
16. Russian Grand Prix - 30th September
17. Japanese Grand Prix - 7th October
18. United States Grand Prix - 21st October
19. Mexican Grand Prix - 28th October
20. Brazilian Grand Prix - 11th November
21. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - 25th November


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So can we expect a few more F1 drivers to have a go?