Formula 1 has revealed a revised calendar for the 2021 season. The F1 schedule retains a record 23 races, but the 2021 season will now start a week later with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28, with the Australian Grand Prix moving later in the year.
Due to the ongoing travel restrictions in place the 2021 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place on its planned date, with Imola returning to the F1 calendar in that slot. Discussions with the promoter and authorities in China are ongoing, with the potential to reschedule the race later in the season if possible.
The TBC race in the calendar will be announced in due course and will take place on the new date of 2nd May.
*Revisions to calendar are subject to World Motor Sport Council approval **Subject to circuit homologation
In 2020, F1 became the first truly international sport to restart following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the experience gained and safety measures established last year hold F1 in good stead for 2021, the ongoing situation regarding Covid-19 has meant it is not feasible to begin the season in Melbourne.
The good news, however, is that the Australian Grand Prix will now take place from the 18th – 21st November following an agreement between Formula 1 and the Australian authorities that shows the importance of the race in Australia to Formula 1 and their partners in Melbourne.
As stated previously, Formula 1 expects fans to return to the grandstands and the exclusive Paddock Club for the 2021 season.
“It has been a busy start to the year at Formula 1 and we are pleased to confirm that the number of races planned for the season remains unchanged,” said Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1.
“The global pandemic has not yet allowed life to return to normal, but we showed in 2020 that we can race safely as the first international sport to return and we have the experience and plans in place to deliver on our season.
“It is great news that we have already been able to agree a rescheduled date for the Australian Grand Prix in November and are continuing to work with our Chinese colleagues to find a solution to race there in 2021 if something changes.
“We are very excited to announce that Imola will return for the 2021 season and know our fans will be looking forward to the return of Formula 1 after the winter break and our revised season opener in Bahrain. Obviously, the virus situation remains fluid, but we have the experience from last season with all our partners and promoters to adapt accordingly and safely in 2021.”