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F1 working on "standard calendar" for 2021

NEWS STORY
06/08/2020

Whether it be choosing a picture for an article or walking down the street, it is still difficult to come to terms with the fact that the global pandemic has effectively turned life on its head.

A few months ago, certainly in the UK, the sight of someone walking down the street wearing a mask on their face would have caused alarm, now it is the (new) norm.

The pandemic is slowly filtering into every aspect of our lives, and despite the sensationalism and conflicting reports in the media, most of us are aware that rather than a "second wave", the first has not yet gone away.

Formula One has done well to get back on track, indeed it is the only 'global' sport to have attempted to do so, far less (fingers crossed) succeed - even if Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes appear determined to spoil it all by totally dominating the season. Again.

Normally, this is the time of year when we would expect F1 to put out the provisional calendar for 2021, but as it stands the full schedule for this season has yet to be confirmed.

FIA president, Jean Todt has confirmed that while F1 is currently working on a "standard calendar" for next season, with no end to the pandemic in sight it is likely to be an ever evolving project.

"There is a reciprocation of the role between Formula 1 and the FIA, the commercial rights holder and the regulator and legislator," said Todt, according to Motorsport.com.

"For the promoter, it's working on the calendar which is then submitted to the FIA," he continued. "So far, the promoter is working on, I would say, a standard calendar... but knowing that we don't know if a standard calendar could work.

"It's very much dependent on member states' positions," he admitted. "You may have one event in the calendar, but you may have the country who consider no sporting events can be hosted, or can consider quarantine will be obliged if you arrive in a country, or if you come back to a country.

"I'm convinced that the '21 championship, and I mean more globally than Formula 1, will be able to be creative and flexible," he said, "because unfortunately, that's my belief, we will not be over with the pandemic."

Due to the strict limitations the 2020 schedule has seen the sort return to its Euro-centric roots, with the likes of Nurburgring and Imola making their return to the calendar, while the sport pays its first visit to Portimao and Mugello.

Due to the uncertainty over the pandemic, Todt admits that the sport may need to continue the task of finding 'back-up' circuits capable of hosting a round of the world championship.

"I'm sure that it's the responsibility of the Commercial Rights Holder," he said, "but of course as much as we can collaborate, we do it.

"Something is sure, F1 has to be hosted at a Grade 1 circuit. It does quite limit where you can go.

"Saying that, it's quite pleasing," he continued, "because when you see the list of Grade 1 circuits, there are quite a lot where no motor racing has ever been organised.

"That kind of research needs to be done again upon the situation which will occur. At the moment, the work is on establishing a standard calendar."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul C, 07/08/2020 3:10

"F1 has overextended itself with too much intercontinental travel. I like the new compact schedule with classic courses, and the TV schedule is easier to understand."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Darvic, 07/08/2020 0:35

"What is a standard calendar? It will be increasingly difficult to maintain a calendar for 2021 over the next few months as the economic hardships will start to bite, especially after the US election. Things will try to be kept positive until then. I suspect that event promotion fees will decline and COVID - 19 will allow promoters to extricate themselves from existing contracts. F1 needs to take this opportunity to completely change its approach going forward. Free up regulations, control just energy into engines so many types of engine can be run with different fuel types. Then on long negotiations with engine suppliers, they can do what they want. But at the same time offer a better package to promoters to allow them to have a small chance of breaking even on an event. As a result the money flowing through the industry will decline in the short-term but hanging on to an outmoded business model has hastened the demise of many businesses. "

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3. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 06/08/2020 19:50

"Here in NZ we could potentially have an event as we are COVID free aside from isolation centres where incoming New Zealanders and residents can have 14 days at taxpayer funded expense or pay their own way if coming in temporarily.

The problem we have is that currently there is no plan to open the boarder to anyone else, at all.
Potentially we are looking at a travel bubble with Cook Islands next week (they have been begging for this as they have near 90% of GDP based on tourism and no COVID).

Hosting a race here would be OK (we have circuits, accomodation etc.) and would have spectators as well.

The problem would be having the F1 circus stop for a fortnight on the way in but if it was the first race of the season then that could be OK.

The Toyota Racing Series is getting a lot of off shore requests for drivers to participate because it could be the only series that gets completed pre European season and super license points are on the line.

All we need to do is have our border opened up with sensible and well run quarantine in place.

Then F1 would be back to a World Championship, then again, the race might not be under lights which would upset the TV viewing figures so that would be the end of that."

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4. Posted by habentsen, 06/08/2020 17:00

"This is the best F1-season for years so far.
Close racking, a team at it's prime delivering amazing performance an no annoying tv shots of audience members.

When they bring back audience again can they please continue to focus the cameras on cars and on-track action?"

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