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F1 releases provisional 2021 race calendar

NEWS STORY
10/11/2020

F1 has today issued the provisional schedule for the 2021 season, with the most significant changes being the absence of Vietnam, the presence of Sao Paulo and a September slot for Zandvoort.

The schedule features 23 dates, however the 25 April, the slot where Vietnam was due to be, is shown simply as 'To Be Confirmed'.

It's understood that the uncertainty over the event is centred on the arrest of Hanoi People's Committee chairman, Nguyen Duc Chung who was arrested in the summer for the alleged appropriation of documents containing state secrets.

Ironically, Vietnam was the first new addition to the schedule to be announced by F1 under its new ownership, Bernie Ecclestone having previously turned down the country's request for a race due to its lack of motorsport tradition, a strange claim when you consider some of the other nations he brought on board.

The fact that the date is retained suggests that the sport may call on one of the circuits used to host rounds of this year's revised championship due to the pandemic, with Mugello, Portimao and Istanbul thought to be under consideration.

The main addition to the schedule is the street race planned for Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in November, which takes place a week before the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Originally scheduled for May this year, F1's return to the Netherlands will have to wait until September next season, when thousands of fans will turn Zandvoort orange as the Dutch race forms a triple-header with Spa-Francorchamps and Monza.

That triple-header is followed by the season's only other, that comprising the Russian, Singapore and Japanese races.

While a couple of events swap places compared to the 2020 schedule, the biggest surprise is the inclusion of Sao Paulo.

2020 marked the last year of the Brazilian track's contract with F1, and Chase Carey has made no secret of his desire to see the event move to Rio de Janeiro.

However, with no hope of the new track (or its funding) in sight, it would appear that the sport's bosses are close to agreeing a new deal with Interlagos, a move that will please fans, drivers and environmentalists.

Nonetheless, an asterisk beside the Sao Paulo events denotes that it is subject to contract, Carey understood to be unhappy about the fact that the current promoter is known to have strong links to Bernie Ecclestone.

"We are pleased to announce the 2021 Formula 1 provisional calendar after extensive conversations with our promoters, the teams and the FIA," said Chase Carey as he revealed the schedule. "We are planning for 2021 events with fans that provide an experience close to normal and expect our agreements to be honoured.

"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," he added, referring to the fact that, despite recent events, the global pandemic remains a serious threat. "In fact, many hosts actually want to use our event as a platform to show the world they are moving forward.

"We are delighted to see Saudi Arabia become part of the schedule and are equally excited to return to the venues we hoped to race at 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."

Date Race Circuit
21-Mar Australia Melbourne
28-Mar Bahrain Sakhir
11-Apr China Shanghai
25-Apr TBC TBC
09-May Spain Barcelona*
23-May Monaco Monaco
06-Jun Azerbaijan Baku
13-Jun Canada Montreal
27-Jun France Le Castellet
04-Jul Austria Spielberg
18-Jul Great Britain Silverstone
01-Aug Hungary Budapest
29-Aug Belgium Spa Francorchamps
05-Sep Netherlands Zandvoort
12-Sep Italy Monza
26-Sep Russia Sochi
03-Oct Singapore Singapore
10-Oct Japan Suzuka
24-Oct USA Austin
31-Oct Mexico Mexico City
14-Nov Brazil Sao Paulo*
28-Nov Saudi Arabia Jeddah
05-Dec Abu Dhabi Yas Marina

* Subject to Contract

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Kkiirmki, 10/11/2020 21:19

"23 races seems like a lot. Can you imagine how many races Fangio would have won if he was racing in this many a season."

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2. Posted by Superbird70, 10/11/2020 19:14

"@Bill Hopgood, April 25 is COTA with a do over in October just in case."

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3. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 10/11/2020 16:55

"Hopefully once some of the contracts run out on these tracks we can get back to some of the tracks we've enjoyed watching racing on this year.

I wonder which race is going into April 25?

Somewhere in Europe that is warm that time of year?"

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4. Posted by Greg, 10/11/2020 16:50

"Geography was never a strong point for some across tje pond."

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5. Posted by Nortim, 10/11/2020 10:53

"Azerbaijan on 6. June and Canada on 13. June, well thank god they are only have one letter (B) in between so the trip is not tooo long. Russia - Singapore - Japan also very close it will be short fly between those.......:facepalm:

Do planners even know where the race tracks are on the map and how far are from each other?"

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