Imola is emerging as the frontrunner to fill the empty slot on the 2021 F1 calendar.
The gap in the calendar arose after plans for Vietnam’s first Formula 1 race, scheduled for April this year, fell through. The Hanoi street race was one of several 2020 events which were cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
The Vietnam Grand Prix was not included in the provisional 2021 schedule following the arrest of Hanoi People’s Committee chairman Duc Chung, who was closely involved in the event.
Formula 1 is therefore looking for an alternative venue for the fourth race of next year. Imola, which returned to the calendar in 2020 following a 14-year absence, is considered the favourite to fill the empty slot.
This would restore to the track to its once-traditional role as the first European round of the calendar, which it often held when it played host to the San Marino Grand Prix between 1981 and 2006.
Imola was one of several circuits added to the 2020 schedule at short notice in place of rounds which were cancelled due to the pandemic. Lewis Hamilton won the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix last month.
Another late addition to the 2020 calendar, the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal, is also in contention for the race. However a return to Istanbul Park in Turkey for an event in the last weekend of April is thought unlikely as it would coincide with Ramadan.
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