A record 21 races pencilled in for 2016 season

The German Grand Prix is set to return to the 2016 calendar at Hockenheim

The Formula 1 season is set to feature a record 21 races in 2016.

A provisional calendar features the inaugural Azerbaijan race on 17 July and the return of Germany, dropped this year because of financial issues.

The season will start on 3 April in Australia and end in Abu Dhabi on 27 November, with the British GP on 26 June.

Other changes include the Malaysian GP moving from March to September and Russia switching from October to May.

The Malaysian GP takes place a week after the neighbouring event in Singapore.

Governing body the FIA also announced on Friday simplified penalties for using too many engines, and an extra engine for McLaren's partner Honda this year.

Honda is to benefit from a new rule that allows manufacturers in their first season to use five complete power units, rather than the four permitted for their rivals.

The decision will be applied retrospectively to Honda this season.

The simplification of engine penalties means that drivers will now simply be put to the back when they break the rules restricting power-unit usage.

It ends the complicated - and widely criticised - series of penalties in which drivers could end up with in-race time penalties as well as grid drops in such circumstances.

The FIA has also revised the list of categories in which drivers can amass the necessary points required to qualify for the super-licence that is needed before they can race in F1.

In addition, the Formula E champion now qualifies for an automatic super-licence, which was not the case before.

The decisions were announced following a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, the organisations's legislative body, in Mexico City.

The full provisional 2016 F1 calendar is as follows:

3 April Australia (Melbourne)

10 April China (Shanghai)

24 April Bahrain (Sakhir)

1 May Russia (Sochi)

15 May Spain (Barcelona)

29 May Monaco (Monte Carlo)

12 June Canada (Montreal)

26 June Britain (Silverstone)

3 July Austria (Spielberg)

17 July Azerbaijan (Baku)

31 July Germany (Hockenheim)

7 August Hungary (Budapest)

28 August Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)

4 September Italy (Monza)

18 September Singapore

25 September Malaysia (Sepang)

9 October Japan (Suzuka)

23 October USA (Austin)

30 October Mexico (Mexico City)

13 November Brazil (Sao Paulo)

27 November Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)

Top Stories