F1 adds Imola to 2021 calendar, Australian GP moved to November
F1 unveiled a 23-race calendar for 2021 in November that was due to start in Australia, but had to make some early changes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent weeks, it emerged that Australia would not be able to continue on March 21 due to ongoing travel restrictions, while the organizers of the Chinese Grand Prix announced on Saturday that they were aiming to change the date.
F1 released an updated version of the 2021 calendar on Tuesday morning, confirming that Imola will host the second round of the season on April 18th.
The former San Marino Grand Prix circuit held its first F1 race in 14 years last November after being added to the heavily revised European-centric schedule.
The success of the event prompted Imola's representatives to seek a deal for 2021. After the planned race in Vietnam was canceled, a gap was opened in the provisional calendar.
Both Imola and Portimao wanted to replace Vietnam, but the relocation of Australia and China has given both routes the opportunity to join the 2021 schedule.
Although Portimao has not yet been announced by F1, the track is expected to host a Grand Prix this year, taking the place vacated by Vietnam as the third round of the season.
This TBC slot is now on May 2nd, a week before the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
Australia was postponed to November 21 as its calendar enforced a number of date changes for the season's closing stages.
Brazil was brought forward by a week to November 7th and has created a third triple header in the calendar after the races in the US and Mexico.
The first Saudi Arabia Grand Prix has been postponed for a week to December 5, while the season finale in Abu Dhabi is now on December 12.
While F1 is working with the China Race organizer to find a new date, it will only do so if another race is canceled as the calendar would not increase to 24 races.
"Due to the current travel restrictions, the Chinese Grand Prix 2021 will not take place on the planned date," said a statement by F1.
“Talks with the organizer and the authorities in China are ongoing, with the potential to postpone the race later in the season if possible.
“Since the planned date for China is not feasible, Imola will return to the Formula 1 calendar on the revised date, April 18.
“The TBC race on the calendar will be announced in due course and will take place on the new date of May 2nd. All changes are subject to approval by the World Motor Sport Council.
"Due to these changes, the number of races will remain at 23 for 2021. This is the biggest Formula 1 calendar of all time. We look forward to delivering this season in close cooperation with all of our organizers."
“The season starts a week later than planned and ends a week later with our season finale in Abu Dhabi. As mentioned earlier, we expect fans to return to the grandstands and our exclusive Paddock Club for the 2021 season.
"We will continue to work closely with our organizers and partners to monitor the current COVID-19 situation and look forward to the start of the season in March."
Revised F1 calendar 2021
March 28 - Bahrain GP
April 18 - Emilia Romagna GP
May 2 - TBC
May 9 - Spanish GP
May 23 - Monaco GP
June 6th - Azerbaijan GP
June 13th - Canadian GP
June 27th - French GP
4th July - Austrian GP
July 18th - British GP
August 1st - Hungarian GP
August 29th - Belgian GP
September 5th - Dutch GP
September 12th - Italian GP
September 26th - Russian GP
October 3rd - Singapore GP
October 10th - Japanese GP
October 24th - United States GP
October 31 - Mexico City GP
November 7th - Sao Paulo GP
November 21 - Australian GP
December 5th - Saudi Arabia GP
December 12th - Abu Dhabi GP
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