Losail International Circuit, Qatar

F1 plans to cut calendar to 22 rounds and add race in Qatar

2021 F1 calendar

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Formula 1 is planning to reduce the number of races which will be held this year from 23 to 22 and add one new round in Qatar at the end of the season, RaceFans understands.

Teams were to be advised of Liberty Media’s new plans for the 2021 F1 calendar today at Spa-Francorchamps. The latest reshuffle has arisen from the need to find replacements for the cancelled Japanese and Australian grands prix, which were due to go ahead in October and November respectively.

The series previously announced the addition of the Turkish Grand Prix as a replacement for Singapore’s race. This was to be followed by a visit to Japan’s Suzuka circuit, which was cancelled last week.

Although the Turkish round was originally due to take place on October 3rd, F1 is understood to be considering pushing the race back by one week. The following round at the Circuit of the Americas in America retains its October 24th date.

Delaying the Turkish Grand Prix and leaving a two-week gap either side of it would leave Formula 1 the flexibility to replace it with an alternative venue if needed. F1 previously added, then removed, a race at the Istanbul Park circuit to the calendar earlier this year. Turkey remains on Britain’s ‘red list’ which would impose a significant quarantine period on F1’s many UK-based staff upon their return from the venue.

Italy’s Mugello track, which was added to the F1 calendar for the first time last year, is believed to be among the venues under consideration for as a substitute for Istanbul.

The US round was originally going to be the first part of a triple-header with races in Mexico and Brazil. The latter two races will now be delayed by a week, easing the congestion at this stage on the calendar.

However an additional race has been added to their pair of rounds which were due to close the season. Qatar, which RaceFans previously revealed was a contender to join the calendar, will host a race at its Losail International Circuit.

This will take place on November 28th and begin a season-closing triple-header. From Qatar F1 will move on to Saudi Arabia as planned – for the second of two consecutive races on circuits it has not previously visited – and then to the remodelled Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi for the season finale.

Despite the reduction in length, the 22-race calendar will remain the longest F1 has ever held.

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Planned revisions to second half of 2021 F1 calendar

RoundCountryCircuitRace date
15RussiaSochi Autodrom26/09/2021
16TurkeyIstanbul Park03/10/2021 or 10/10/2021
17USACircuit of the Americas24/10/2021
18MexicoAutodromo Hermanos Rodriguez07/11/2021
20QatarLosail International Circuit28/11/2021
21Saudi ArabiaJeddah Corniche Circuit05/12/2021
22Abu DhabiYas Marina12/12/2021

Update: F1 confirms 2021 calendar shortened to 22 races

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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12 comments on “F1 plans to cut calendar to 22 rounds and add race in Qatar”

  1. Well, that all seems pretty sensible.

    I am quite tired of the pandemic, but finally having an F1 race at Losail, and other non-F1/abandoned-F1 tracks really does satisfy curiosity, and certainly helps give us more variation.

  2. Another soulless track in the middle east.

    1. Indeed, it looks terrible. It feels like I have seen that track a million times before.

      1. An avid MotoGP fan then I presume.

      2. That is going to be one hell of a boring race

  3. So the season finishes with 3 GPs in Arabic countries in a row. Logistically, it makes all the sense to have them together, but I don’t like it as a finale of the championship. Especially when you have Brazil’s Interlagos before them.
    Holding the final GP in a country that is passionate about motorsport and has great racing legacy would give it a tangible home-coming or coming-full-circle feel that would make it grander and more meaningful.

    1. You say this as if you actually believed Brazil would go ahead

      1. You completely misunderstood my comment. I expressed my opinion, not expectation.

      2. Vaccination in Brazil has finally, since july, gained pace, and new covid cases and deaths are drastically falling.

        Brazil is already ahead of the U.S. when you consider first doses (62% vs 60%), and by late October I’m pretty sure it’ll have a similar rate to the major european countries of fully vaccinated people

        This means it’s highly unlikely that Brazil will remain in Britain’s red list until the race weekend, and so teams will return home without quarantine

  4. If I could design an F1 track that would be terrible for F1, it would look something like that. But I thought that about Mugello and was wrong, so maybe ‘Moto GP-type’ tracks can work. I still think Zandvoort is going to be a bizarre spectacle (though I’m looking forward to it), that surely is going to be the closest to Monaco in terms of overtaking.

    1. Mugello has banking in the last corner which obviously helped with overtaking on the front straight. The same thing is in Zandvoort so we have to see. Obviously the front straight is shorter in Zandvoort than in Mugello.

  5. Mugello would be best

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