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      elcome to the world's most beautiful motorsport.The 2016 Formula One season is the 67th season of the FIA Formula One World Championship, a motor racing championship for Formula One cars which is recognised by the sport's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), as the highest class of competition for open-wheel racing cars. Teams and drivers are scheduled to take part in twenty-one Grands Prix—making for the longest season in the sport's history—starting in Australia on 20 March and finishing in Abu Dhabi on 27 November as they compete for the World Drivers' and World Constructors' championships.

 

The 2016 season will see the grid expand to 22 cars with the addition of the Haas F1 Team entry. Renault returned to the sport as a constructor after a four-year absence following their takeover of Lotus prior to the start of the season. The calendar has also expanded, with the return of the German Grand Prix and the revival of the European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan.

 

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Team changes

 

Gene Haas, founder of NASCAR team Haas CNC Racing, will enter a new team in 2016.

 

Haas F1 Team, a team formed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Gene Haas, will join the Formula One grid, becoming the first American team to compete since the unrelated Haas Lola team competed in 1986. The team will use power units supplied by Ferrari and a chassis developed by Dallara.[18][19] Dallara last participated in Formula One as the chassis manufacturer for HRT in 2010. Marussia applied for their team name to be changed to Manor Racing, a request granted on 19 January 2016. The team will switch from Ferrari to Mercedes power, with the team upgrading to a 2016-specification engine after having used a year-old Ferrari engine in 2015. The team will undergo a management reshuffle following the resignation of team principal John Booth and sporting director Graeme Lowdon. Following the collapse of HRT in 2012 and Caterham in 2014, the resignations of Booth and Lowdon mark the departures of the last key figures involved in the sport's expansion in 2010.

 

Red Bull Racing formally ended their nine-year partnership with engine supplier Renault at the end of the 2015 season, with the team citing the lack of performance from the Renault Energy-F1 2015 engine as a leading factor in the change. The team will continue to use Renault engines, however they will be rebadged as TAG Heuer. Team principal Christian Horner named Renault's partnership with Mario Illien and his company Ilmor as a reason for staying with the manufacturer.

 

Horner said that the team had held exploratory talks with the Volkswagen Group about entering the sport as an engine supplier, but that negotiations came to a halt following the emissions scandal that broke in September 2015. Plans to obtain power units from Mercedes, Honda, and Ferrari fell through as well.

 

Renault will return to Formula One as a full factory-supported team after they purchased Lotus from Genii Capital, the venture capital firm they had originally sold the same team to in 2010, and supplied engines to up until the end of 2014. Lotus' participation in the 2016 season was in question pending the resolution of a High Court case brought against the team by HM Revenue and Customs over unpaid PAYE tax.

 

Scuderia Toro Rosso will return to using Ferrari power units, as they had done prior to the start of 2014, after Renault announced that they would no longer supply customer engines. The team will use the 059/4 power unit used by Ferrari teams in 2015 after Ferrari received approval from the World Motor Sport Council to supply year-old engines on the grounds that the extensive revisions to the engine design meant that they would not be able to manufacture additional 2016 specification engines in time for the start of the season

New and returning races

 

The European Grand Prix will return to the calendar with the race to be held on a street circuit in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. It will be the first Grand Prix to be held in Azerbaijan.

 

The German Grand Prix will return to the Hockenheimring after the event was cancelled in 2015 when a venue could not be secured. The circuit had previously hosted the race in 2014 as part of their agreement with the Nürburgring to host the event every even-numbered year.

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The Malaysian Grand Prix—which had been held in the early months of the year since the 2001 season—will now be held later in the year, paired up with the Japanese Grand Prix in October.

The Russian Grand Prix will be brought forward from its October date to May, becoming the fourth round of the season.

Romain Grosjean left Lotus at the end of the 2015 season. He joined the newly formed Haas F1 team for 2016, where he will be joined by former Sauber driver Esteban Gutiérrez. Gutiérrez will return to competition after spending a season as Ferrari's test and reserve driver.

 

Jolyon Palmer, the 2014 GP2 Series champion, will make his race début with Renault, replacing the departing Grosjean. Palmer had previously made regular free practice appearances with Lotus in 2015.

 

Despite originally having signed a contract with Lotus for 2016, Pastor Maldonado announced he would not be driving for Renault. This was due to the failure of his sponsor PDVSA to pay his sponsorship for the season. He was replaced by Kevin Magnussen, who was released at McLaren when they chose not to renew his contract after he entered a single race for the team in 2015.

 

Marussia drivers Will Stevens, Roberto Merhi, and Alexander Rossi were not retained by Manor. The team signed two rookies for its 2016 campaign – 2015 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters champion Pascal Wehrlein and 2015 GP2 Series fourth-place finisher Rio Haryanto – both to one-year deals, with Haryanto being the first Indonesian driver to race in the Championship

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17-20  MARCH 2016

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