Formula 1 has announced a number of changes to the second half of the 2021 schedule following the cancellation of the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month.
Formula 1 has reduced its 2021 calendar from 23 rounds to 22 rounds following the cancellation of the Japanese Grand Prix. The latest raft of changes to the schedule sees the Turkish Grand Prix pushed back by a week to October 10. Meanwhile, the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix have also been pushed back by a week and will form a triple header of races with a yet to be announced Grand Prix on November 21.
In a statement, Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula 1, said: “We are very pleased to announce the updates to the 2021 calendar following extensive discussions with the promoters and national authorities. The pandemic continues to present the season with challenges but we have proven we can adapt and we are confident we can deliver a record breaking 22 races this year despite a global pandemic.”
The revised 2021 Formula 1 calendar
|Belgian Grand Prix
|Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
|Dutch Grand Prix
|Italian Grand Prix
|Russian Grand Prix
|Turkish Grand Prix
|United States Grand Prix
|Circuit of The Americas
|Mexico City Grand Prix
|Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
|Brazilian Grand Prix
|Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
|Jeddah Corniche Circuit
|Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
|Yas Marina Circuit
Turkish Grand Prix changes date
Following the cancellation of the Japanese Grand Prix, the Turkish Grand Prix, originally scheduled for October 3, has been pushed back to October 10 – the original date of the Suzuka race.
Turkey is currently on the United Kingdom’s red list for travel, meaning that personnel of British-based teams would face a mandatory 10-day quarantine on their return to the country from Istanbul Park. This is the reason why the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix was indefinitely postponed earlier this year before being reinstated on the calendar.
Should Formula 1 be unable to visit Turkey, Mugello is understood to be the most likely venue to replace Istanbul Park on the schedule. The Mugello circuit hosted an F1 race for the first time last year. The Tuscan Grand Prix was one of three races held in Italy in 2020.
Qatar expected to join calendar
Like Turkey, Mexico and Brazil remain on the United Kingdom’s red list for travel. Both races have now been pushed back by a week on the calendar, with the Mexican race expected to take place on November 7, and the Interlagos event scheduled for November 14.
To alleviate the issue on travel restrictions, Formula 1 has added a race the week after, on November 21, which is at a yet to be announced venue. It is currently expected that this slot will be filled by Lusail Circuit, which will host the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix on this date. The circuit, located near Doha, is familiar to fans of MotoGP. It hosted the series’ first ever night race in 2004. It is expected that, should F1 race there, the Qatar Grand Prix would be held under floodlights.
Confirmation that the Qatar Grand Prix will join the 2021 calendar should follow in the coming weeks. Should the deal with Lusail Circuit not be completed, it is not out of the question that Bahrain’s outer circuit could host the Sakhir Grand Prix for a second year in succession.
Unchanged season closers
The 2021 season will conclude as expected with a double header of races in the Middle East. The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will take place in Jeddah on December 5, with the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix scheduled for December 12 on a revised layout of the Yas Marina Circuit.
The addition of the Qatar Grand Prix would mean that Formula 1 faces the prospect of hosting two consecutive races at new venues in the closing stages of what is shaping up to be a closely fought 2021 season.