The 2021 Australia Grand Prix has been postponed and moved to November, with Imola stepping in on April 18 and China being postponed to an unconfirmed later date.
The original 23-race 2021 calendar was unveiled in November, but F1 has already been forced to make changes.
The Melbourne race had been seeking a new date since it became clear that the quarantine period required for teams entering the country would make hosting the season opener extremely difficult.
The race was set to be held on March 21, but a two week quarantine period plus a week for preparation would have clashed with the only preseason test on March 2-4.
Bahrain will now hold the opening round on March 28.
Imola was added to the last year’s calendar in a much revised Covid-hit schedule. Such was its success that organisers were seeking a place this year and have duly found it in April due to the reshuffle.
It is also thought Portimao will join the calendar, possibly as the third round of the season in in the ‘TBC’ space reserved to replace the now-cancelled Vietnam Grand Prix, though this is yet to be announced.
China announced last Saturday that it too was seeking a postponement, but with F1 not wishing to stretch to a 24-race season, it remains to be seen if the race will be slotted back in later this year.
“Due to the ongoing travel restrictions in place the 2021 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place on its planned date,” an F1 statement said.
“Discussions with the promoter and authorities in China are ongoing with the potential to reschedule the race later in the season if possible.
“With the scheduled date not being feasible for China, Imola will return to the Formula 1 calendar on the revised date of 18 April.
“The TBC race in the calendar will be announced in due course and will take place on the new date of 2 May. All revisions are subject to World Motor Sport Council approval.”