2021 F1 calendar: Vietnam axed in provisional schedule

F1

F1 has announced a 23-race schedule for the 2021 F1 season, with Saudi Arabia joining the calendar. But Vietnam looks set to be dropped

Melbourne skyline behind albert Park during the 2019 F1 Australian Grand Prix

Melbourne is due to open the 2021 F1 season on March 21

DPPI

Formula 1 is looking to bounce back from its Covid-affected 2020 season with 23-race global schedule for next year, running from March to December.

The calendar, published this morning, is a return to the familiar, with Melbourne’s Albert Park hosting the opening race of the season, a year after the 2020 race was abandoned hours before the first practice session, as the coronavirus pandemic hit F1.

F1 says that it expects to be able to stick to next year’s plan, after showing that it can safely run races this year.

The Monaco Grand Prix is back on May 23, and Silverstone is penned to host the British Grand Prix on July 18.

Vietnam, however, has disappeared from the schedule. The Hanoi Street Circuit was due to host the country’s first F1 race this year before the pandemic intervened. But the arrest of an official responsible for the grand prix has meant that it is no longer a priority for the government, the BBC has reported.

There’s currently an April 25 slot to be confirmed, which could be filled by one of the circuits that stepped in to host races this year, such as Imola, Instanbul or the Nürburgring.

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Zandvoort’s return to the F1 calendar was delayed last year but has a September date in 2021.

The end of the season puts F1 on some uncomfortable ground, with Interlagos given a November 14 date — subject to a contract being agreed. F1 had agreed to move the race to a new Rio de Janeiro circuit, but the track has not yet been built, as a row continues over the destruction of forest that construction would require.

Saudi Arabia is then due to host the following race; the country’s record of human rights abuses sitting at odds with Formula 1’s inclusive ‘We Race As One’ message.

Abu Dhabi’s contract secures its right to close the season, which is due to be on December 5 in 2021.

“We are planning for 2021 events with fans that provide an experience close to normal and expect our agreements to be honoured,” said Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of F1. “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.”

 

2020 F1 calendar: provisional dates

Date Race Track
March 21 Australia Melbourne
March 28 Bahrain Sakhir
April 11 China Shanghai
April 25 TBC
May 9 Spain Barcelona
May 23 Monaco Monaco
June 6 Azerbaijan Baku
June 13 Canada Montreal
June 27 France Paul Ricard
July 4 Austria Red Bull Ring
July 18 Britain Silverstone
August 1 Hungary Hungaroring
August 29 Belgium Spa-Francorchamps
September 5 Netherlands Zandvoort
September 12 Italy Monza
September 26 Russia Sochi
October 3 Singapore Singapore
October 10 Japan Suzuka
October 24 USA Circuit of the Americas
October 31 Mexico Mexico City
November 14 Brazil* Interlagos*
November 28 Saudi Arabia Jeddah
December 5 Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi

*Subject to contract