F1 announces its latest calendar shuffle, the Miami Grand Prix circuit is officially named and Hungary could remain on the calendar until 2037. Here’s a round up of the past month’s Formula 1 calendar news!
Latest F1 calendar changes announced
In August, it was announced that the Japanese Grand Prix had been cancelled for a second year in succession. This triggered a chain reaction for events in the second half of Formula 1’s 2021 season. The Turkish, Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix were all pushed back by one week on the schedule, while a new event has been added in November. The location of the new race on November 21 is yet to be revealed, but the slot is expected to be filled by Losail International Circuit and the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix.
The sticking point in the 2021 schedule at the moment is the Turkish Grand Prix. Turkey remains on the red list for travel from the United Kingdom and hopes of it moving from this list before the Turkish Grand Prix on October 10 are diminishing. The next review is on September 16. Autosport reports that should Turkey not be removed from the red list, only essential members of F1’s teams would travel to Istanbul for the race weekend.
Should the Turkish Grand Prix be unable to go ahead, Mugello is understood to be a replacement option for the event. Mugello hosted its first Formula 1 race last year with the Tuscan Grand Prix.
Miami Grand Prix circuit named
The Miami Grand Prix will make its debut on the Formula 1 schedule in 2022. Event organisers have announced that the circuit on which the race will take place will be named the Miami International Autodrome. Located at the Hard Rock Stadium complex, the event’s CEO Richard Cregan says that there have been over 150,000 enquiries about tickets for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.
While no date for the 2022 event has been announced, Stefano Domenicali says that the race will “happen in the first half of May”. The full 2022 calendar is expected to be revealed later this month. Two provisional dates have been announced for next year, however. The Austrian Grand Prix will be held on July 10, with tickets for the Red Bull Ring race already on sale. Meanwhile, tickets for the 2022 British Grand Prix are not yet on sale but a provisional date of July 3 has been announced. Ticket packages from F1 Experiences are already available.
Hamilton calls for Belgian Grand Prix refund
The 2021 Belgian Grand Prix went down in the history books as the shortest F1 race on record. There was no racing action due to poor weather conditions, with the drivers completing a handful of laps behind the Safety Car before the event was abandoned. Max Verstappen took the win, with half points awarded to the top ten finishers.
Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton let his feelings be known after the race, suggesting that the crowd should be offered a refund, having not seen any Grand Prix action. Hamilton has since gone on to offer an “exclusive gift” to those affected by the curtailed race. The FIA released a statement the day after the Grand Prix, saying they were “disappointed for all the fans at the track”, while a statement from Formula 1 read:
“Formula 1 and the promoter are working through various options for ticket holders, to express our recognition and thanks to them for their dedication and commitment. We will provide further details as soon as possible.”
There is yet to be a further update on the matter.
First Dutch Grand Prix since 1985 takes place
Earlier this month, Max Verstappen delighted his home fans with victory in the first Dutch Grand Prix to take place since 1985. The event took place with a two-thirds capacity crowd, with its organisation being praised by fans and F1 personnel alike.
When the Dutch Grand Prix’s return to the calendar was first announced, it was for a date in May 2020. It appears that the event could move to an earlier slot on the 2022 calendar. Dutch journalist Erik van Haren reported on social media that the event is pencilled in for May 22, as the opening race of the European season.
Meanwhile, the Dutch Grand Prix Foundation is keen to bring a second Grand Prix to the Netherlands in the near future at TT Circuit Assen. Speaking to Dutch newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden, the foundation’s chairman Jos Vaessen says there could be “one race in the spring and one race in the autumn”. Dutch Grand Prix boss Jan Lammers was less optimistic of Assen’s chances of joining the calendar, saying that “the probability of [Vaessen] saying something that is true is 0.1 percent”.
Hungarian Grand Prix seeks contract extension
The 36th running of the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring took place in August. The dramatic wet race was won by Esteban Ocon. Over the race weekend, Motorsport Week reported that the Budapest circuit is set to extend its contract to host the Hungarian Grand Prix through to 2037. In June 2020, race organisers signed a one-year extension to their existing contract, which ran to 2026. The report suggests that, as part of the new deal, the circuit will be renovated with new grandstands and a new pit complex. The new contract is yet to be formally announced.
Other news in brief:
- Tickets have sold out for the 2021 Russian Grand Prix. This year’s Russian Grand Prix will run with a half-capacity crowd. The race will be the penultimate F1 event to be held at Sochi Autodrom before the Russian Grand Prix moves to Igora Drive in 2023.
- The Russian Grand Prix will have an additional series on its support schedule. The Formula 3 season finale was scheduled to take place at Circuit of the Americas, but “unavoidable logistical changes” which “heavily impacted the overall costs of the planned Austin event” mean that the last round of the season will now take place at Sochi Autodrom.
- Could Mexico host a second Grand Prix? Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez has been a popular re-addition to the F1 calendar since returning to the schedule in 2015. It now appears that Cancun – around 1,500km east of Mexico City – could be in the frame to host a second Grand Prix in the near future. The project is backed by Sergio Perez’s father, Antonio Pérez Garibay. He recently posted an image on social media of himself with Jean Todt at the Hungarian Grand Prix, presumably having talked about the potential Cancun event.
- Monza has renamed its famous Parabolica corner in honour of Michele Alboreto. 2021 marks the 20 year anniversary of the Italian driver’s death.
- The chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation says that the inaugural Saudi Arabia Grand Prix will be the “biggest sporting event” ever hosted in the country. The first race at Jeddah Corniche Circuit is scheduled to take place on December 5.