An unprecedented 23-race Formula 1 calendar has been ratified by the World Motorsport Council. In the pandemic era, it is the first step towards getting things back to normal.
Some of the new additions to the Formula 1 calendar include Saudi Arabia, which is making its first appearance, and the Dutch GP, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
The 23-race 2021 Formula 1 season is expected to start on the 21st of March in Australia, and the last race is scheduled in Abu Dhabi on the 5th of December. There are as many as five back-to-back races and two triple headers in the second half of the Formula 1 season.
With many races packed in the 2021 Formula 1 calendar, the margin of error is minimal, both for teams and the organisers.
Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1 has said:
“We are pleased to announce the 2021 Formula 1 provisional calendar after extensive conversations with our promoters, the teams and the FIA. We are planning for 2021 events with fans that provide an experience close to normal and expect our agreements to be honoured."
The Formula 1 chairman continued in this regard:
“We have proven that we can safely travel and operate our races, and our promoters increasingly recognise the need to move forward and manage the virus. In fact, many hosts actually want to use our event as a platform to show the world they are moving forward."
Carey also expressed his delight at Saudi Arabia entering the Formula 1 bandwagon, saying in this regard:
“We are delighted to see Saudi Arabia become a part of the schedule and are equally excited to return to the venues we hoped to race in 2020. We want to thank all our promoters and partners for their ongoing enthusiasm and collaboration and look forward to giving our fans an exciting season on the track.”
The 2021 Formula 1 calendar could be subject to change
Although the Formula 1 calendar for the year has faced hiccups, as Australia and China are likely to be postponed or dropped from the calendar altogether, the last year proved that the sport is more than ready with contingency plans in place for any eventuality.
With Australia and China uncertain about going ahead with their scheduled Formula 1 races, Algarve and Imola have been already been lined up as stand-bys. For now, the Formula 1 season might start in Bahrain, as Australia could be postponed to November.
That could have a knock-on effect on the pre-season testing plans of teams, as the pre-season testing is likely to be moved to Bahrain from Barcelona if the Australian GP is postponed. With logistics and the pandemic being primary concerns, the 2021 Formula 1 calendar could be subject to change.
Provisional 2021 Formula 1 Calendar
The provisional Formula 1 calendar for 2021 is as follows:
- 21 March – Australia (Melbourne)**
- 28 March – Bahrain (Sakhir)
- 11 April – China (Shanghai)**
- 25 April – TBC (TBC)
- 9 May – Spain (Barcelona)
- 23 May – Monaco (Monaco)
- 6 June – Azerbaijan (Baku)
- 13 June – Canada (Montreal)
- 27 June – France (Le Castellet)
- 4 July – Austria (Spielberg)
- 18 July – United Kingdom (Silverstone)
- 1 August – Hungary (Budapest)
- 29 August – Belgium (Spa)
- 5 September – Netherlands (Zandvoort)
- 12 September – Italy (Monza)
- 26 September – Russia (Sochi)
- 3 October – Singapore (Singapore)
- 10 October – Japan (Suzuka)
- 24 October – USA (Austin)
- 31 October – Mexico (Mexico City)
- 14 November – Brazil (Sao Paulo)
- 28 November – Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
- 5 December – Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi)
*Likely to be postponed/Cancelled.