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2021 F1 calendar will be “closer to normal” – Carey

2021 F1 calendar

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The 2021 F1 calendar may not look exactly like this year’s schedule was supposed to, but will be closer to it, says the sport’s CEO Chase Carey.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of the opening 10 races of this year’s championship. Other events outside Europe were struck from the schedule because of travel restrictions.

But Carey said next year’s championship will “probably look a bit more like the calendar we planned for this year.”

F1 cancelled this year’s races in Australia, China, Azerbaijan, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, the Netherlands, Monaco and France. A new race in Vietnam has not been formally cancelled or rescheduled.

The championship added extra races in Austria, Britain, Italy, Turkey, Portugal and Bahrain to compensate. Carey told the official F1 website the sport’s goal is to hold events worldwide again in 2021.

“The reality is this year we haven’t really raced globally,” he said. “We’ve largely raced in the European zone.

“So we want to get back to making sure we have our races in the Americas, we have our races in Asia, we have races spread across the globe. That is important to us as a global sport.

“We have some great historic tracks that are obviously part of our calendar. Tracks like Silverstone, Monza, Monaco, Spa. So certainly historic European tracks are an important part of the sport. But I think you’ll see a more balanced set of events across the globe on the 2021 calendar.”

Which of F1’s new races this year are likely to return on the 2021 calendar?
Carey said the sport is “pretty close to having a calendar for 2021” but they still have “a couple of issues to resolve.”

“Clearly we’re later in the process because the issues around 2020 we’ve really only recently resolved. So all of those things have created delays in getting it out.

“But we’re going to plan for a 2021 calendar that looks pretty much like a normal calendar, like the calendar we would’ve planned in January.”

Limited numbers of fans have been allowed in to recent races at Mugello, Sochi and the Nurburgring. Carey hopes further improvements in the handling of the pandemic will mean more spectators can attend in 2021.

“What we don’t really know is what will be the state of Covid next year and how we navigate through it,” he said. “We’re planning for events, were planning to have fans, we’re planning to have a season that I don’t know that I’d say is ‘normal’, but certainly gets us back to normal, closer to normal on that track.”

Among the changes expected to be announced on next year’s calendar is the addition of a new street race in Jeddah, the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia and a later date for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “2021 F1 calendar will be “closer to normal” – Carey”

  1. A more normal calendar year is a downgrade. I get why it would be very difficult to have about 30-35 tracks available for each 20-race season with a lot rotating in and out (with some static races), but that is how it should be.

  2. Among the changes expected to be announced on next year’s calendar is the addition of a new street race in Jeddah, the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia

    I’ve chosen a good time to move back to the GCC, three races on my doorstep, huzzah!

  3. F1 should not be going to a country with the human rights record of Saudi Arabia. Or some other places currently on the calendar really.

    I hope Lewis and some of his colleagues choose to highlight the issues around hosting a race in a country like this, as they have done, quite legitimately with Black Lives Matter.

    1. Good luck with that – the looney lefties of the western world get so upset about anyone and anything against their tunnel vision world view, yet are happy to turn a blind eye away from genuine human rights issues that have existed for hundreds of years in far away countries!

      1. George, and yet all you are doing is complaining about “the looney lefties of the western world”, whilst continuing to support a government that is actively propping up that regime in Saudi Arabia.

        1. Who says I support anything?

          I’m just pointing out that its usually the comfortable privileged (who moan that they are not) that turn a blind eye to real injustice.

  4. The build-up of the proposed street track in Jeddah (despite at least partly using existing roads) has to commence in the next few months at the least to have a realistic chance of happening next year at all, even at the end of the season alongside Abu Dhabi. The beginning of the season alongside Bahrain is definitely out of the question at this short notice, but the opposite end is still possible, but not forever. In general, I wonder how many of the more regular tracks, especially the temporary ones, would eventually be able to hold a race even next year. I wouldn’t put it past some of these not happening next season either. Time will tell.

    1. ‘at the latest’ or ‘at least’

  5. Assuming Covid won’t become worse. Nothing indicates it’ll be better. Three of four companies the US president picked to solve the virus by Election Day have stopped competing and say it’s not possible to do this in this manner.
    So Covid can’t be stopped at present and what says with winter coming soon our springtime has great potential to become vastly worse by then. So how can Racing even begin then? I wonder if F1 can take a second major hit and remain lucrative to investors? Like many businesses some just can’t return profit as the menace grows. Maybe F1 is one of those and the clock is ticking. An alternative schedule with events like Mugello again next season is still possible. Covid remains the bigger problem

    1. I wouldn’t mind an alternative schedule for another year: the tracks are much better, and reserve drivers are finally useful again, meaning we get more driver’s having the opportunity to show what they are worth. There’s enough money to be made in 17 races.

  6. To me, this year’s championship venues are the most exciting for a long time: Portimao, Imola, Mugello, Bahrain Outer Track, Istanbul, Nuerburgring…
    Obviously, a few races in Americas (sao Paolo) and Asia (Suzuka) are welcomed for the sport, but for now I feel good about this season.

    1. I tend to agree. It’s a World Championship though so it does need to have races in some of the other continents. I would like to see a few of this year’s added venues on the calendar in 2021 though, rather than somewhere like blooming Saudi Arabia!

  7. Here is a good reason why you should never ever discredit or diminish Hamilton”s success

  8. I don’t see it that way at all. 2021 will have no American races, no street circuits, no Australian season opener and most likely no Asia circuits. I honestly don’t see how it will be any different to this year. We’re nearly into November, so the new season is around 5 months away. The virus is picking back up around the world putting us back to similar numbers to March this year. In those 7-8 months nothing has changed, so why will it be any different in 5 months time? Short answer is sadly that it won’t be.

    The good positive take from this is that F1 managed to get some races and any positive Covid results have been well contained. F1 will race in 2021 but the season will resemble 2020 much more than a “normal” one.

    1. +1 That’s pretty much my take as well.

      F1 has done well but even now in Europe things are being tightened up again because there’s signs that the virus is getting out of control in certain places which could mean potential disruption to the back end of the calendar.

    2. It is absolutely NOT “picking back up” with “similar numbers to march”! Testing is a whole different thing to March. Deaths have been drastically reduced (well under 1/4 of the March numbers). This excessive fear nonsense needs to stop. The world needs to move on.

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