Formula 1 delays 2021 season, makes several other changes

Formula 1 (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
Formula 1 (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images) /

Formula 1 has delayed the start of the 2021 season, as the Australian Grand Prix has been pushed back from March to November.

The first race to be taken off the 2020 Formula 1 schedule as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has become the first race to be postponed in the 2021 season.

As a result of pandemic-related restrictions in Melbourne, Australia, Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit will not host the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, March 21.

Instead, that race has been pushed back to Sunday, November 21, and the Bahrain Grand Prix is now scheduled to open up the 2021 season on Sunday, March 28.

Formula 1 has made a number of other schedule changes as well.

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Fortunately, it doesn’t look like we will have to wait until July to get the 2021 season underway like we did in 2020. The 2021 season is still slated to be a record-breaking 23-race season after what was scheduled to be record-breaking 22-race season in 2020 ended up becoming a delayed and shortened 17-race campaign, the shortest since 2009.

As for 2021, the Chinese Grand Prix was scheduled to take place at Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday, April 11. That will not happen, and a new date for the event has not been determined. Discussions with the promoter and authorities in China are reportedly ongoing.

Meanwhile, the initial TBC slot was listed for Sunday, April 25. Formula 1 has confirmed where that race is slated to be held, but it is scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 18. That race is set to be held at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari (Imola).

With the Chinese Grand Prix having been knocked off the calendar, at least temporarily, Formula 1 has placed the new TBC slot on Sunday, May 2. It may or may not be the Chinese Grand Prix contested on that date.

As a result of the Australian Grand Prix’s postponement, the Brazilian Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace has been moved up by one week from Sunday, November 14 to Sunday, November 7.

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at Jeddah Street Circuit has been moved back by one week from Sunday, November 28 to Sunday, December 5, and the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit has been moved back by one week from Sunday, December 5 to Sunday, December 12 as well.

Here is a look at the updated 2021 schedule.

NOTE: *Revisions to calendar are subject to World Motor Sport Council approval, **Subject to circuit homologation

  1. Sunday, March 28 – Bahrain (Sakhir)
  2. Sunday, April 18 – Italy (Imola*)
  3. Sunday, May 2 – TBC
  4. Sunday, May 9 – Spain (Barcelona)
  5. Sunday, May 23 – Monaco (Monaco)
  6. Sunday, June 6 – Azerbaijan (Baku)
  7. Sunday, June 13 – Canada (Montreal)
  8. Sunday, June 27 – France (Le Castellet)
  9. Sunday, July 4 – Austria (Spielberg)
  10. Sunday, July 18 – United Kingdom (Silverstone)
  11. Sunday, August 1 – Hungary (Budapest)
  12. Sunday, August 29– Belgium (Spa)
  13. Sunday, September 5– Netherlands (Zandvoort)
  14. Sunday, September 12 – Italy (Monza)
  15. Sunday, September 26 – Russia (Sochi)
  16. Sunday, October 3 – Singapore (Singapore)
  17. Sunday, October 10 – Japan (Suzuka)
  18. Sunday, October 24 – USA (Austin)
  19. Sunday, October 31 – Mexico (Mexico City)
  20. Sunday, November 7 – Brazil (Sao Paulo)
  21. Sunday, November 21 – Australia (Melbourne*)
  22. Sunday, December 5 – Saudi Arabia (Jeddah**)
  23. Sunday, December 12 – Abu Dhabi (Yas Island)

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Options for the Sunday, May 2 date, in case the Chinese Grand Prix does not end up happening, have not been officially revealed by Formula 1, but a confirmation is expected in the near future.