Formula 1 set for April start in 2016

The FIA are set to announce a more condensed Formula 1 schedule in 2016 with a view to helping reduce costs and minimise travel.

The season-opening Grand Prix is still set to take place at the Albert Park track in Australia, but the race is set to be scheduled to be run on 3 April, meaning the season will begin at its latest date since 1988 when the Brazilian Grand Prix at Rio de Janeiro ran on the same date.

Although not confirmed, the FIA look to be aiming to reduce the lengthy gaps between races, for example the three-week gap between the Bahrain and Spanish Grand Prix in 2015, and as such, the Australian and Chinese Grand Prix are set to run back-to-back in 2016.

Having back-to-back flyaway races makes more sense, as it would reduce travel costs back to Europe where all teams are based. It would also enable the season to gain momentum, with no downtime between events.

The calendar would need to be discussed in the next F1 Strategy Group meeting on 14 May, with a decision about the future inclusion of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza also likely to be on the agenda.