Formula 1 is set to again clash with Le Mans in 2017, with an early draft version of next year's schedule seen by teams having the grand prix in Baku taking place on the same weekend as the endurance classic.
The issue cropped up last year, and the FIA announced a June 17/18 2017 date for the Le Mans 24 Hours several months ago in the hope that other championships could avoid it.
But in a draft 2017 F1 schedule seen by teams, once again it appears there will be a clash unless the FIA pushes for Baku's date to be changed.
Although there could be further shuffling of F1 dates ahead of a formal provisional calendar being lodged with the FIA later this month, the first outline calendar seen by teams does at least allow some provisional planning for the year ahead.
As reported last week, the key date that teams like to see is when the season opener kicks off, with Australia currently slotted in for March 26.
That has subsequently allowed teams to try to finalise a test programme for next year.
Should the Australia date remain set in stone, then teams are currently planning to run two scheduled pre-season tests – on February 27 to March 2, with the other March 7 to March 10. The venues for these have not been decided.
The calendar seen by teams has China as a back-to-back with Australia, but there remain question marks about whether or not it is logically possible to guarantee customs clearance in that time.
The 21-race calendar follows a similar pattern to this year, with a space out opening part to the campaign and four races in July.
It also includes the German, Canadian and Brazilian Grands Prix, despite speculation in recent months about their future on the schedule.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone may still elect to move dates around prior to it being submitted to the FIA's World Motor Sport Council for approval.
The draft calendar for 2017 seen by teams is as follows:
|October 22||United States|
|November 26||Abu Dhabi|