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Towards a 23 Grand Prix season with a new destination?

ByRoborto Sykes

Oct 27, 2020

Formula 1 hopes for a return to normal for the start of the 2021 season. Forced to review its plans in the face of the evolution of the health crisis this season, Liberty Media has communicated to the ten teams a draft calendar for next season, whose main lines were revealed by the British magazine Autosport. While, initially, the 2020 calendar provided for a record number of 22 Grands Prix, this draft goes a step further since no less than 23 events are currently planned for the year 2021, without taking into account the possible consequences of a health crisis linked to the coronavirus which would continue in the first half of the year 2021, which seems more than likely given the current deterioration of the situation, especially in Europe. Before the first round of the season, scheduled in Australia on the weekend of March 21, F1 drivers should be able to train their cars, which will be evolutions of those used this year, on the occasion of two test blocks.

Start in Australia after pre-season testing in Bahrain

If one of them will take place as usual near Barcelona, ​​the second could be relocated to Bahrain, a circuit which will offer temperature conditions in February closer to what will be in effect during most of the season. the season. The Sakhir circuit is set to host the second round of the championship, just a week after Melbourne. China then Vietnam, for its first Grand Prix, will follow before returning to Europe. A return which, contrary to what was initially planned in 2020, will not take place in Zandvoort but in Barcelona. Indeed, the Grand Prix of the Netherlands, whose return has been postponed for a year, would finally take place in September within a block of three Grands Prix in three weekends with Belgium and Italy. After Barcelona, ​​Monaco would host F1 on May 23 before the detour to Canada and then the return to Azerbaijan. Before the summer break, the French Grand Prix would regain its place at the start of the summer, followed by meetings in Austria, Great Britain and then Hungary.

Saudi Arabia preferred to tours discovered in 2020

After the Zandvoort-Spa-Monza sequence, the Formula 1 teams should undergo a second “triple-header” with Singapore, Russia and Japan which would follow each other during three consecutive weekends. Another change would concern the Brazilian Grand Prix. Indeed, according to the wishes of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the race would leave the legendary Interlagos circuit for a new route built in Rio de Janeiro. But the main novelty of this 2021 season would be the arrival in the fold of Formula 1 of a new country. After hosting the Dakar and Formula E, Saudi Arabia would open up to the pinnacle of motorsport with a race through the streets of Jeddah on an urban circuit that would be used pending the construction of a permanent circuit in Qiddiya, project presented last January on the sidelines of the Dakar. A new destination and a 2021 calendar which would therefore leave aside the circuits discovered in 2020 that are Mugello or Portimão, which offered races in certain very interesting ways. A project which must now receive the approval of the teams, which could be reluctant to such a number of Grands Prix in the current organization, but also that of the FIA ​​through the World Motor Sport Council.