Chinese GP set for April 1

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 Lewis Hamilton led his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg at the Shanghai International Circuit in this year's Chinese Grand Prix.

The 2016 Formula One Chinese Grand Prix is scheduled for April 17, becoming the third stop of the new season which starts with the Australian GP in Melbourne on March 20.

It will be the 13th year for the Shanghai International Circuit in suburban Jiading District to hold the race.

According to the 2016 calendar released by the FIA on Wednesday, a record 21 races will be held next year from March until the end of November. Azerbaijan's Baku will become a new F1 host, with its grand pix scheduled for June 19. The German Grand Prix will return to the calendar, and is set for July 31 in Hockenheim. The season will end in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, on November 27.

Next year's United States GP in Austin, Texas, which is scheduled for October 23, remains provisional due to funding doubts. It was given an asterisk by FIA reading "subject to agreement with the promoter and national sporting authority".

Officials of the Circuit of the Americas said earlier that they were financially strapped after storms wiped out much of the 2015 race weekend, as well as the news that the Texas government is reducing subsidies by about roughly 20 percent to around US$19.5 million.

Set tickets for the 2016 Chinese GP have already been put on sale on organizer Juss Event's official site Early birds placing orders before the end of this month will get a 15 percent discount. Ticket prices range from 1,003 to 3,280 yuan (US$512.6) after discount.

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