Formula 1’s 2021 calendar has faced a significant rewrite, with the season start set to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the return of some circuits drafted in to help fill the gaps last year.
As reported the Australian Grand Prix has been postponed as the Bahrain Grand Prix gets the nod to host the season opener.
The following statement was released:
Formula 1 can today confirm that the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship will open its season in
Bahrain between 26th-28th March.
The ongoing situation regarding COVID-19 has meant it is not feasible to begin the season in Melbourne, but the good news is that the Australian Grand Prix will now take place from the 18th – 21st November following an agreement between Formula 1 and the Australian authorities that shows the importance of the race in Australia to Formula 1 and our partners in Melbourne.
Due to the ongoing travel restrictions in place the 2021 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place on its planned date. Discussions with the promoter and authorities in China are ongoing with the potential to reschedule the race later in the season if possible.
With the scheduled date not being feasible for China, Imola will return to the Formula 1 calendar on the revised date of 18th April. The TBC race in the calendar will be announced in due course and will take place on the new date of 2nd May. All revisions are subject to World Motor Sport Council approval.
As a result of these changes the number of races for 2021 will remain at 23 which is the largest ever Formula 1 calendar and we look forward to delivering this season through close collaboration with all our promoters.
The season will start a week later than planned and end a week later with our season finale in Abu Dhabi. As stated previously, we expect fans to return to the grandstands and our exclusive Paddock Club for the 2021 season.
We will continue to work closely with our promoters and partners to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation and look forward to the start of the season in March.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: “It has been a busy start to the year at Formula 1 and we are pleased to confirm that the number of races planned for the season remains unchanged.
“The global pandemic has not yet allowed life to return to normal, but we showed in 2020 that we can race safely as the first international sport to return and we have the experience and plans in place to deliver on our season.
“It is great news that we have already been able to agree a rescheduled date for the Australian Grand Prix in November and are continuing to work with our Chinese colleagues to find a solution to race there in 2021 if something changes.
“We are very excited to announce that Imola will return for the 2021 season and know our fans will be looking forward to the return of Formula 1 after the winter break and our revised season opener in Bahrain.
“Obviously, the virus situation remains fluid, but we have the experience from last season with all our partners and promoters to adapt accordingly and safely in 2021.”
Formula 2 released this statement simultaneously:
Following the restructuring of the 2021 Formula 1 calendar, the final two rounds of the FIA Formula 2 Championship season, in Jeddah and Yas Marina, will now take place a week later than planned, subject to World Motor Sport Council approval.
Round 7 in Saudi Arabia will occur on December 03-05, while Round 8 in Abu Dhabi has been moved to December 10-12. The changes have been made to accommodate for the Australian Grand Prix which was set to open the F1 season but will now take place in November, due to the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19.
As previously announced, the eight-round F2 season will now feature three-races per weekend, while not competing alongside Formula 3, as part of a wider cost-cutting programme.
2020 F1 Provisional Calendar V2:
- 28 March – Bahrain (Sakhir) includes F2
- 18 April – Italy (Imola*)
- 2 May – TBC
- 9 May – Spain (Barcelona)
- 23 May – Monaco (Monaco) includes F2
- 6 June – Azerbaijan (Baku) includes F2
- 13 June – Canada (Montreal)
- 27 June – France (Le Castellet)
- 4 July – Austria (Spielberg)
- 18 July – United Kingdom (Silverstone) includes F2
- 1 August – Hungary (Budapest)
- 29 August – Belgium (Spa)
- 5 September – Netherlands (Zandvoort)
- 12 September – Italy (Monza) includes F2
- 26 September – Russia (Sochi) includes F2
- 3 October – Singapore (Singapore)
- 10 October – Japan (Suzuka)
- 24 October – USA (Austin)
- 31 October – Mexico (Mexico City)
- 7 November – Brazil (Sao Paulo)
- 21 November – Australia (Melbourne*)
- 5 December – Saudi Arabia (Jeddah**) includes F2
- 12 December – Abu Dhabi (Yas Island) includes F2
*Revisions to calendar are subject to World Motor Sport Council approval
**Subject to circuit homologation