French GP back on the list

Paris: Formula One races in Bahrain and China will swap places early in the season as initially planned, following approval of the 2018 F1 calendar.

Motor sport’s governing body FIA confirmed the proposed switch, with Bahrain taking place at the Sakhir circuit on April 8 and the Chinese GP in Shanghai a week later.

As usual, the F1 season begins with the Australian GP in Melbourne on March 25. All the other races in the 21-race calendar were confirmed from the original plan set out in June, with the exception of the US GP in Austin on October 21 being subject to confirmation.

The French GP, meanwhile, returns after a 10-year absence and will be hosted at the iconic Paul Ricard circuit, also known as Le Castellet, in southern France on June 24.

Paul Ricard last hosted the French GP in 1990. The race was then organized at Magny-Cours from 1991-2008 but was dropped from the calendar in 2008 because of financial issues.

The German GP, which has struggled with attendances and track fees, was scrapped this year but will return at Hockenheim on July 22. The Azerbaijan GP has been moved forward to April 29, making it the fourth race of the season. The Russian GP in Sochi, held this year at the end of April, shifts to September 30. Agescies


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