2021’s latest calendar changes see Singapore removed from the calendar and Turkey added, Igora Drive is announced as the new host of the Russian Grand Prix from 2023 and F1 is set to host full capacity crowds for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Here’s a round up of all the Formula 1 calendar news from the past month!
Singapore Grand Prix cancelled
June began with the news that, for the second year in a row, the Singapore Grand Prix had been cancelled. While the decision was described as “difficult” and “cautious”, it means that the Marina Bay race must now sign a new contract if it is to remain on the calendar in 2022.
Turkish Grand Prix re-added to schedule
The Turkish Grand Prix is back on the 2021 Formula 1 calendar. The Istanbul Park was previously added to replace the cancelled Canadian Grand Prix in June. However, travel restrictions meant that the Turkish race was cancelled, and replaced by a second round at the Red Bull Ring.
The cancellation of the Singapore Grand Prix gave the opportunity for Turkey to be reinstated on the schedule. It will form the third triple header of the 2021 season, sandwiched between the Russian and Japanese Grands Prix.
Igora Drive to host Russian GP from 2023
The Russian Grand Prix will have a new home from 2023, with the event set to move to Igora Drive. The circuit is located around 50km from St Petersburg. It means that Sochi Autodrom is likely to be removed from the calendar, having hosted the Russian Grand Prix since it was first held in 2014. However, the same promoter will run the Russian Grand Prix at its new home as has done in Sochi – and it remains a possibility that the event could alternate between the two venues.
New layout for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, tickets now on sale
Yas Marina Circuit will have a new look when F1 returns for the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December. In a bid to boost overtaking at the venue, the chicane has been removed at Turn 7 and further changes have been made further round the track. Excitingly, the slow complex which was between Turns 11 and 14 will be replaced by one long banked turn. Tickets for the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are now on sale.
British Grand Prix to have full capacity crowd
Formula 1’s attendance figures are slowly on the rise. More than 10,000 were in attendance at the Styrian Grand Prix, while the Austrian Grand Prix is to go ahead with a close to full capacity crowd.
In June, Silverstone announced that the British Grand Prix will go ahead with a full crowd. The event is to be run as part of the British Government’s Events Research Programme. Over 140,000 fans are expected on race day. More information on the entry requirements at Silverstone can be found here.
Dutch Grand Prix organisers targeting full crowd
The Dutch Grand Prix is set to return to the calendar after an absence of over 35 years in September. Organisers are hopeful that a full capacity crowd – of over 100,000 spectators – will be able to attend the event. With almost 35% of the nation’s population fully vaccinated, it is expected that mask wearing will not be mandatory and social distancing rules will be relaxed at the start of September.
With Dutch driver Max Verstappen currently leading the championship, the event is expected to be a sell-out. To help ease traffic issues over the race weekend, organisers are encouraging 50,000 fans to travel to the event by bicycle.
Meanwhile, Formula 1’s teams have been informed that travelling staff will require full vaccinated status to be able to work at the Dutch Grand Prix.
This month’s other F1 calendar news in brief:
- The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place in December. Race organisers have released renders of what the pit and garage facilities will look like at the Jeddah Street Circuit.
- Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City Mayor, says that the Mexico City Grand Prix will take place this year. The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez has served as a hospital during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the temporary hospital is expected to close later this month.
- The Spanish Grand Prix is out of contract this year – but organisers are hopeful of securing a long term deal for the event to remain on the calendar. The coronavirus pandemic meant the number of fans at the event was highly restricted this year, but Spanish fans remain keen on the sport – especially with Fernando Alonso back on the grid, and Carlos Sainz racing at Ferrari.
- Ross Brawn has said that Formula 1 is open to the idea of making sure that the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500 do not clash in the future, in order to allow F1 drivers to compete at the 500-mile race.
- French Grand Prix Managing Director Eric Bouiller has said that the late date change of this year’s race at Circuit Paul Ricard was a “big problem” for the organisers to solve.
- In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said that a Grand Prix in London remains a possibility in the near future: ““I think next year would be too soon but I’ve been really impressed with those at Formula 1 and I’m keen to bring it as soon as possible.”