The 2018 Formula One calendar has been released uncharacteristically early by the sport's governing body, and the major news is that both the France and Germany Grand Prix have been restored.
After a ten year hiatus, the French Grand Prix will take place next June at Le Castellet in the south of France. The Paul Ricard circuit is famous for its long stretch, the Mistral Straight. At over 2km, it is one of the longest straights of any major racing circuit, however the Formula One layout will feature a chicane, Chicane Nord, on the approach to Signes bend. This will be Le Catellet's first Grand Prix in almost five decades.
Meanwhile, Germany returns to the calendar after what will be a three year absence, taking place at Hockenheim in July 2018. As usual, Melbourne will host the first GP of the season on 25th March, finishing in Abu Dhabi exactly eight months later on 25th November.
The early release of the calendar has been orchestrated by Liberty, F1's new owners. Speaking after a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council to authorise the calendar, Liberty CEO Chase Carey said:
"We wanted to finalise next season’s calendar early, so that all our stakeholders would have more time to prepare and we have managed it, thanks in part through working closely with the FIA"