Formula 1 has announced a provisional 23-race calendar for the 2021 season, with a slot still to be filled after Vietnam was omitted, and Interlagos earning a reprieve.
As reported on Monday, Vietnam is not on the schedule following political issues within the country’s organizing team, and that slot has been left as “To Be Confirmed” as the sport looks to find a replacement. In doing so, it maintains a record-breaking schedule and backloads the season heavily, with Australia on March 21 kicking off a run of 12 races in 19 weeks prior to the August break, but then being followed by 11 races in 15 weeks to end the season.
The weighting is partly due to the desire of some promoters to have a slot later in the year to give more time for progress to be made in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result the returning race at Zandvoort has moved from what would have been an April or May date to the middle race of a tripleheader also including Spa and Monza.
That is one of two back-to-back triple-headers, the second being Russia, Singapore and Japan, before F1 heads to the Americas for the United States Grand Prix at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas and the Mexican Grand Prix in their traditional positions of October 24 and October 31 respectively.
The Canadian Grand Prix is the second race of a doubleheader involving Azerbaijan, with the event in Montreal being held on June 13. There is also no clash with the Indy 500 next year, as the Monaco Grand Prix is scheduled for May 23, a week before the 500.
Races in Spain (May 9) and Brazil (November 14) are listed as subject to contract, with Interlagos scheduled to remain on the calendar. The Brazilian round was due to move to a new venue in Rio de Janeiro, but environmental issues surrounding the circuit have delayed those plans, and a new deal is expected to be agreed with Interlagos.
A new race in Saudi Arabia will take place on November 28, forming a doubleheader with Abu Dhabi (December 5) to complete the season.