F1 Calendar News: May 2021 Round-Up

Miami joins the calendar for 2022, Turkey replaces Canada on the 2021 schedule and tickets for the United States Grand Prix go on sale. Here’s a round up of the latest F1 calendar news!

Miami Grand Prix to join calendar in 2022

Formula 1 has finally confirmed that the inaugural Miami Grand Prix will take place in 2022. The 5.41km circuit will run around the Hard Rock Stadium, which is located around 25km north of downtown Miami. The addition of the Florida race means that F1 will have two races in the United States from 2022 onwards. It’s the first time the sport will race in the country twice in a season in almost 40 years.

The addition of the Miami Grand Prix comes four years after Liberty Media first made their plans for a race in the area public knowledge. Read more about the long journey in securing the deal – from relocations, to local disapproval and legal battles – here.

Turkey replaces Canada on 2021 calendar

The Turkish Grand Prix will replace the Canadian Grand Prix on the 2021 F1 calendar. Istanbul Park returns to the calendar having hosted its first Grand Prix in nine years last season. It is yet to be announced whether fans will be able to attend the Turkish Grand Prix.

The Canadian race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is unable to go ahead due to travel restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. In better news for Canadian fans, it has been announced that the Canadian Grand Prix will remain in Montreal until at least 2031, after promoters signed a two-year contract extension.

United States Grand Prix tickets on sale

Tickets for the 2021 United States Grand Prix are now on sale. Circuit of The Americas returns to the F1 schedule in October after a two-year absence, following the cancellation of the 2020 event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The high demand saw the Circuit of The Americas website crash when the tickets were released. Since tickets have gone on sale, organisers have announced that Billy Joel will headline one of the now traditional evening concerts over the Grand Prix weekend.

1,000 fans to attend Spanish Grand Prix

Earlier in April, it was announced that the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix would take place behind closed doors. However, one week prior to the race, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya announced that 1,000 fans will be permitted to watch the Grand Prix action on Sunday. The 1,000 fans permitted will be circuit members, who will watch the race from the main grandstand on the pit straight. As there are more than 1,000 circuit members, fans hoping to attend will be entered into a draw. More details can be found here.

Monaco set to welcome fans

The Monaco Grand Prix will take place with fans in the grandstands; albeit at a limited capacity. The Monaco government has approved plans for 7,500 fans to attend on each day of the Grand Prix weekend; around 40% of the usual capacity. Only 3,000 fans will be able to attend on Friday – a day on which only support races take place and entry to the circuit is free. Fans attending will have to supply proof of a negative coronavirus test result, taken no more than 72 hours prior to attending the event.

Suzuka extends F1 contract

Suzuka is to remain as host of the Japanese Grand Prix until at least 2024, as race promoter Mobilityland has extended its contract by three years. Of the new deal, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “I am truly delighted that Formula 1 will continue to race at Suzuka Circuit for another three years. Japan holds a special place in the hearts and minds of F1 fans all over the world, and Suzuka has played host to many of the sport’s most legendary moments […] This extension is part of our long-term commitment to growing the sport in Asia”. The 2021 Japanese Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on October 10.

Sprint Qualifying introduced

Three races on the 2021 Formula 1 calendar will trial a new format – Sprint Qualifying. The new format sees the traditional qualifying hour moved to Friday, with a new 100km race set to decide the grid for the Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon. Points will be awarded to the top three finishers in Sprint Qualifying, which is due to make its debut at the British Grand Prix in July. Read more on the new qualifying format, as well as the impact it will have on fans attending races, here.

This month’s other F1 calendar news in brief:

  • In a video interview with Formula 1, Stefano Domenicali said that the sport would not pursue switching to two-day race weekends. The format was trialled at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which was held behind closed doors. Speaking about the current three-day events, Domenicali said: “the organisers really want to have a full experience for the people. We need to respect that”.
  • In the same interview, when asked if there would be a Formula 1 race in Africa within the next five years, Domenicali said that there would be. Earlier this year, F1’s global director of race promotion said that F1’s return to Africa was “a priority”.
  • The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Formula 1 was revealed earlier last month. Formula 1 posted a $386 million loss in 2020.
  • Organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix have announced that the event will be powered by renewable energy from 2022 onwards. An expansive solar power farm will be built near Bahrain International Circuit ahead of next year’s race, supporting Formula 1’s aim to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Are you happy to see Turkey return to the calendar? Have you bought tickets for the United States Grand Prix? Leave a comment below.

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