Wolff ‘pretty confident’ of minimum 17-race calendar

Date published: April 22 2021

Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff says that he is “pretty confident” that Formula 1 will be able to match or increase the total of 17 races that took place in 2020.

The original 23-race calendar was curtailed after Covid-19 began to spread to the point where sporting events were no longer possible – with the teams having already arrived in Australia ahead of the first race at the time.

However, 17 races were able to take place in 2020 after organisers managed to put a calendar together that relied on mostly European circuits to minimise travel, with strict protocols in place to ensure grand prix weekends could be run as safely as possible.

Another 23-race schedule was put together for 2021, and hopes are currently high that the races will be able to play out without too many major interruptions.

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“I think the sport has really done well,” said the Mercedes team principal.

“[For] the FIA and FOM to make sure we actually had a championship last year and I think we were the only global World Championship that kept going.

“We had a calendar with 17 races and I’m pretty confident that we will have the same or more races this year.

“They are doing a super job and the structure and logistics function really well.”

With difficult circumstances surrounding Singapore, Japan, Mexico and Brazil and their Covid response, the races hosted there would be at risk if they cannot get the virus under further control.

But Wolff believes that, if the situation stays as it is in the majority of countries, the calendar should be able to more or less play out as planned, adding: “As long as there is not a complete outbreak of a more aggressive variant, I think we should have an okay season.”

Formula 1 have announced plans to expand the races to new countries for 2022, with the recent announcement of a Miami Grand Prix alongside a planned race in Vietnam, which has yet to feature having been on the provisional calendar for the past two years.

Fans have enjoyed the variety posed by the 2020 and 2021 schedules, though, with organisers at Imola in particular hoping to be a part of the future of the sport after a successful return to the calendar.

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