After a highly chaotic 2020 season, with new grands prix and, for the first time, multiple races at the same venue, F1 fans might have been looking forward to a more stable 2021. That doesn’t look like it will be the case, as the sport is already making changes to its previously announced schedule.
Formula One has today released a revised calendar carrying seven changes over the one issued back in November. For the most part this is simply some shuffling of dates, though there are some slightly more major changes too.
One of the most significant alterations comes with the first race of the season. Australia has been the traditional season opener for much of the last 25 years but, after not taking place at all in 2020, it has moved to be one of the very last races in 2021, taking place over the weekend of November 19-21.
This means that Bahrain, which hosted two very memorable grands prix in 2020, will now take over as the season’s curtain-raiser, on its originally planned date of March 26-28. That will take place at the regular GP layout, and not the Outer Circuit as used at the second race in 2020.
There’s further early calendar changes too, with the Chinese Grand Prix postponed from its April 9-11 weekend due to ongoing travel restrictions. For now the event is off the calendar, but F1 remains hopeful it can schedule the race later in the year.
With China’s absence, the Imola circuit – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari – will now feature to fill the gap. This proved to be an enormously popular race last season, and fans will no doubt be glad to see the event return.
To accommodate Australia’s November placement, the final three races of the original season have also moved, albeit slightly. Brazil’s renamed “Sao Paulo Grand Prix” is now a week earlier, on November 5-7, with the planned grand prix at Saudi Arabia’s as-yet unrevealed Jeddah Street Circuit a week later than originally planned. The season will end with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina a week later too.
One final change regards an unknown event. This “TBC” race appeared originally on the 2021 calendar for 23-25 April, but is now planned for the following weekend. It’s not entirely clear where this race will be, with the Vietnamese Grand Prix a possibility — though other issues may preclude this particular event from taking place.
Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1’s CEO and president, commented:
“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.
“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.”
As things stand, the full 2021 Formula 1 Season calendar is as follows:
Scheduled Grands Prix
- March 28 – Bahrain – Bahrain International Circuit
- April 18 – Italy – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari
- May 2 – Portugal – Algarve International Circuit
- May 9 – Spain – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
- May 23 – Monaco – Circuit de Monaco
- June 6 – Azerbaijan – Baku City Circuit
- June 13 – Canada – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
- June 27 – France – Circuit Paul Ricard
- July 4 – Austria – Red Bull Ring
- July 18 – UK – Silverstone Circuit
- August 1 – Hungary – Hungaroring
- August 29 – Belgium – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
- September 5 – Netherlands – Circuit Zandvoort
- September 12 – Italy – Autodromo Nazionale di Monza
- September 26 – Russia – Sochi Autodrom
- October 3 – Singapore – Marina Bay Street Circuit
- October 10 – Japan – Suzuka Circuit
- October 24 – USA – Circuit of the Americas
- October 31 – Mexico – Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez
- November 7 – Brazil – Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
- November 21 – Australia – Albert Park Circuit
- December 5 – Saudi Arabia – Jeddah Street Circuit
- December 12 – Abu Dhabi – Yas Marina Circuit
Postponed Grands Prix
- April 11 – China – Shanghai International Circuit
Update: Formula One announced on February 10 that the Portuguese Grand Prix, at the Algarve International Circuit, would also return from the 2020 calendar. This fits into the previously empty spot for the third race of the season, scheduled for May 2.