The season is still scheduled to hold a record 23 races, but this year’s campaign will now start a week later, in Bahrain, on March 28th with the Melbourne event moving to November.
Formula 1 bosses also announced that, due to the ongoing travel restrictions, the 2021 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place on its planned date, with Imola taking its place – a fans favourite in 2020.
There is still one event to be announced at an as-yet unnamed venue on May 2nd.
The revised calendar announcement comes nine months after F1 first made amendments to its fixture list with an 11th-hour cancellation of the 2020 Australian GP after McLaren team members were struck down with Covid-19.
And although such a busy travel schedule has raised eyebrows across the world as lockdowns take yet another hold in all corners from Australia to Europe, F1 is adamant that it will fulfil its 23-race season.
Undoubtedly, it will come under scrutiny for doing so, but let’s not forget this is not a brand that is easily swayed by public protest or media scrutiny, as its exploits in Bahrain, Russia, China and now Saudi Arabia are testament to.
The updated 2021 F1 race calendar now looks as follows:
- 28 March – Bahrain (Sakhir)
- 18 April - Italy (Imola)
- 2 May - TBC
- 9 May – Spain (Barcelona)
- 23 May – Monaco (Monaco)
- 6 June – Azerbaijan (Baku)
- 13 June – Canada (Montreal)
- 27 June – France (Le Castellet)
- 4 July – Austria (Spielberg)
- 18 July – United Kingdom (Silverstone)
- 1 August – Hungary (Budapest)
- 29 August – Belgium (Spa)
- 5 September – Netherlands (Zandvoort)
- 12 September – Italy (Monza)
- 26 September – Russia (Sochi)
- 3 October – Singapore (Singapore)
- 10 October – Japan (Suzuka)
- 24 October – USA (Austin)
- 31 October – Mexico (Mexico City)
- 7 November – Brazil (Sao Paulo)
- 21 November - Australia (Melbourne)
- 5 December - Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
- 12 December - Abu Dhabi (Yas Island)
“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.”