Formula One has issued a revised 2021 race schedule, with the planned season-opener in Australia postponed until November and a race at Imola replacing the Chinese Grand Prix.
The changes have been made in response to travel restrictions imposed by governments because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The season will now get underway in Bahrain on March 28 and run a week longer than initially planned, with the final race in Abu Dhabi shifted again to December 12. That can create space on the finish of the season for the Australian Grand Prix to fit into a brand new date on November 21 between the Brazilian and Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Imola, which staged a grand Prix on final yr’s rescheduled calendar, would be the second race of the yr on April 18, with the location of the third race, on May 2, but to be confirmed.
Portimao, which hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix in 2020, is believed to be into account as well as a second race on the Circuit de Catalunya outdoors Barcelona, which is able to host the Spanish Grand Prix a week in a while May 9.
System One mentioned discussions to reschedule the Chinese Grand Prix are “ongoing” with the promoter of the race, but it isn’t but clear the place it could fit into the rescheduled calendar.
Rescheduled 2021 F1 calendar
March 28, Bahrain GP, Sakhir
April 18, Emilia Romagna GP, Imola*
May 2, TBC
May 9, Spanish GP, Circuit de Catalunya
May 23, Monaco GP, Monte Carlo
June 6, Azerbaijan GP, Baku
June 13, Canadian GP, Montreal
June 27, French GP, Paul Ricard
July 4, Austrian GP, Red Bull Ring
July 18, British GP, Silverstone
August 1, Hungarian GP, Budapest
August 29, Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps
September 5, Dutch GP, Zandvoort
September 12, Italian GP, Monza
September 26, Russian GP, Sochi
October 3, Singapore GP, Marina Bay
October 10, Japanese GP, Suzuka
October 24, U.S. GP, Austin
October 31, Mexican GP, Mexico City
November 7, Brazilian GP, Sao Paulo
November 21, Australian GP, Melbourne*
December 5, Saudi Arabian GP, Jeddah**
December 12, Abu Dhabi GP, Yas Marina
*Revisions to the calendar are subject to World Motor Sport Council approval
**Subject to circuit homologation
As issues stand, the 2021 calendar retains a record-breaking 23 races and is heavily loaded towards the top of the yr in the hope that travel restrictions will ease up.
“It has been a busy start to the yr at System One and we’re happy to confirm that the variety of races deliberate for the season stays unchanged,” F1’s newly-appointed CEO Stefano Domenicali said.
“The global pandemic has not but allowed life to return to normal, but we confirmed in 2020 that we are able to race safely as the primary international sport to return and we have the experience and plans in place to ship on our season.
“It’s great news that we have already been capable of agreeing a rescheduled date for the Australian Grand Prix in November and we’re persevering with to work with our Chinese colleagues to discover a solution to race there in 2021 if one thing changes.
“We’re very excited to announce that Imola will return for the 2021 season and know our fans shall be looking ahead to the return of System One after the winter break and our revised season opener in Bahrain.
“Obviously, the virus situation stays fluid, but we have the experience from the final season with all our companions and promoters to adapt accordingly and safely in 2021.”
Pre-season testing is due to takes place in Bahrain two weeks earlier than the opening race, though the dates haven’t but been confirmed.
Query marks also hang over the first two road races of the yr in Monaco and Baku, which require a larger lead time to prepare their events and are a lot harder to hold behind closed doors without the public.
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