Jul.14 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Russia says it is happy with its new early slot on the F1 calendar.

Last year and again in 2015, as Sochi joined the ever-expanding world championship schedule, the new Russian grand prix has been held in mid October.

But as the newly-published 2016 calendar expands to an unprecedented 21 grands prix, Sochi has been reshuffled to a May 1 race slot, and paired back-to-back with Bahrain.

Promoter Sergey Vorobyov told the Russian sports news agency R-Sport: “After we conducted the first Russian grand prix, for us there is nothing difficult in holding the race at any time.

“I think the grand prix in the May holidays will further increase attendance,” he added. “More people will come to Sochi and enjoy this event.”

Also with a vastly-different race date in 2016 is Malaysia, which has traditionally had a very early date on the calendar.

But next year, Sepang shifts to late September, paired back-to-back with Singapore. Chief Razlan Razali said Malaysia needed a shakeup.

“It’s unlikely that we are going to see a Malaysian driver in formula one for the time being, and we have got to think of something new to make the Sepang race relevant,” he told the local Star newspaper.

“We thought of proposing to Bernie Ecclestone to slot us in before the Singapore round, but then it would have clashed with the Hari Raya Haji holidays — so the dates we got are ok,” he added.

“We’ve got more than a year now to promote next year’s race and we’ll do it well.”