Formula One has now announced that the season-opening Australian Grand Prix would be postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic with the Bahrain round taking over the role of the season-opener.
The sport released its 2021 schedule at the end of last year, hoping that the original calendar planned for the new season could be feasible However, it has been now confirmed that the Australian Grand Prix will be postponed and 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship will open its season in Bahrain between 26-28 March.
The change was necessary due to the current restriction that have been put in place in Australia. The good news is that unlike last year, the Australian Grand Prix will be staged in 2021, but its date will be moved back to November 21.
The Chniese Grand Prix is also affected by the current Covid-19 situation. The Sanghai race will not take place on the original date with the promoters working with Formula One on a possible reschedule of the race for a later date in the season. The postponement of the Chinese Grand Prix means that Imola will return to the Formula 1 calendar on the revised date of 18th April.
There is still a slot on the calendar with the location still to be announced. Despite the changes, the sport still intends to adhere to a 23-race calendar which is the largest ever Formula 1 calendar. The season will start a week later than planned and end a week later with our season finale in Abu Dhabi. Formula One expectes expect fans to return to the grandstands and our exclusive Paddock Club for the 2021 season.
Commenting on the change to the schedule, President and CEO of Formula One Stefano Domenical said: “It has been a busy start to the year at Formula 1 and we are pleased to confirm that the number of races planned for the season remains unchanged. The global pandemic has not yet allowed life to return to normal, but we showed in 2020 that we can race safely as the first international sport to return and we have the experience and plans in place to deliver on our season.
„It is great news that we have already been able to agree a rescheduled date for the Australian Grand Prix in November and are continuing to work with our Chinese colleagues to find a solution to race there in 2021 if something changes. We are very excited to announce that Imola will return for the 2021 season and know our fans will be looking forward to the return of Formula 1 after the winter break and our revised season opener in Bahrain.
"Obviously, the virus situation remains fluid, but we have the experience from last season with all our partners and promoters to adapt accordingly and safely in 2021,” he said.
2021 CALENDAR UPDATE— Formula 1 (@F1) January 12, 2021
🇧🇭 Season starts in Bahrain 26-28 Mar
🇦🇺 Australia moves to 19-21 Nov
🇮🇹 Imola returns 16-18 Apr; China discussions ongoing
Dates of Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi races all change#F1 pic.twitter.com/4QoP0gKKsA