It will hopefully be a case of Formula 1 being able to return to a regular schedule next year having seen the 2020 calendar heavily revised and cut down to 17 races due to the global health pandemic.
Melbourne, Shanghai, Zandvoort, Monte Carlo, Baku, Montreal, Paul Ricard, Marina Bay, Suzuka, Austin, Mexico City and Interlagos were all cancelled in 2020 but all of them are now back on the calendar for 2021.
Vietnam, also scheduled to be on the 2020 calendar, was subsequently cancelled with a view to holding its inaugural race in 2021. However, following the breaking news on Monday, that plan is now scrapped due to political complications.
Hanoi People’s Committee chairman, Nguyen Duc Chung, a key figure in bring Formula 1 to the streets of Hanoi, was arrested in August for alleged appropriation of documents containing state secrets.
Hanoi’s cancellation now means there is an open spot in the calendar for another venue to step in and create a 23-race schedule as originally intended by Formula 1 as they look to produce a record-breaking line-up of races.
Istanbul, Imola and Portimao, venues that have all helped step in to form a 17-race 2020 calendar, are all believed to be in the running to replace Vietnam. So too is the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, which last hosted a Formula 1 race in 2017.
There were also severe doubts over the last year about the futures of both Interlagos and Barcelona but they are on the list for at least another year.
“We are pleased to announce the 2021 Formula 1 provisional calendar after extensive conversations with our promoters, the teams and the FIA,” Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1, said.
“We are planning for 2021 events with fans that provide an experience close to normal and expect our agreements to be honoured.
“We have proven that we can safely travel and operate our races and our promoters increasingly recognise the need to move forward and manage the virus.
“In fact, many hosts actually want to use our event as a platform to show the world they are moving forward.
“We are delighted to see Saudi Arabia become part of the schedule and are equally excited to return to the venues we hoped to race at in 2020.
“We want to thank all our promoters and partners for their ongoing enthusiasm and collaboration and look forward to giving our fans an exciting season on the track.”
The full provisional 2021 calendar is as follows:
March, 21 – Australian GP, Melbourne
March 28 – Bahrain GP, Sakhir
April 11 – Chinese GP, Shanghai
April 25 – TBC
May 9 – Spanish GP, Barcelona*
May 23 – Monaco GP, Monte Carlo
June 6 – Azerbaijan GP, Baku
June 13 – Canadian GP, Montreal
June 27 – French GP, Paul Ricard
July 4 – Austrian GP, Spielberg
July 18 – British GP, Silverstone
August 1 – Hungarian GP, Budapest
August 29 – Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps
September 6 – Dutch GP, Zandvoort
September 12 – Italian GP, Monza
September 26 – Russian GP, Sochi
October 3 – Singapore GP, Marina Bay
October 10 – Japanese GP, Suzuka
October 24 – U.S. GP, Austin
October 31 – Mexican GP, Mexico City
November 14 – Brazilian GP, Sao Paulo*
November 28 – Saudi Arabian GP, Jeddah
December 5 – Abu Dhabi GP, Yas Marina
*Subject to contract
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 10, 2020