About that 23-race 2021 calendar


At a meeting of the F1 Commission yesterday, attended by representatives of all ten teams, Jean Todt, Chase Carey, Ross Brawn and incoming F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali, the draft schedule for the 2021 season was presented.

Along with the 22 events originally planned for this season, Saudi Arabia will host its first Grand Prix with a street race planned in Jeddah.

Melbourne will kick-off the season on March 21, following on from the three days of pre-season testing.

After Australia it's off to Bahrain, followed by China and Vietnam.

The race at Zandvoort, originally scheduled for May this year, will move to an Autumn date, with the European season getting underway in Spain on 9 May.

While a few dates have yet to be finalised, two triple-headers are planned, one involving the Italian, Dutch and Belgian Grands Prix, and the other comprising Japan, Singapore and Russia.

However - and it's a very big however - this is dependent on the pandemic having been scaled back and travel and spectator gathering restrictions eased, and in all honesty, looking at the way the virus is currently spiralling out of control, that's a mighty big ask.

Fact is that the financial threat to the sport from earlier this year has not gone away, and F1 has to continue racing if it is to survive.

In providing a basic 23-race calendar, F1 has at least given itself the option of once again re-jigging the schedule and perhaps dropping races if needed.

However, as opposed to essentially 'renting' the various circuits this year in a bid to keep the sport going, F1 needs the revenue from hosting fees next season and that means bums on seats in the stands.

While the sport has done an impressive job of putting a schedule together this year, as is the case for companies around much of the world, F1 faces ruin the longer the pandemic continues.

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Published: 27/10/2020
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