Formula 1 has announced a record 23-race provisional calendar for 2021. The return of the Dutch Grand Prix is confirmed alongside a new race in Saudi Arabia, but the Vietnam Grand Prix is a casualty.
Looking to get back to business following heavy disruption to this year’s calendar as a result of COVID-19, Formula 1 has confirmed plans for the longest ever Formula 1 season in 2021. The 23-race provisional calendar for 2021 announced today is broadly similar to the calendar originally planned for this year, with the exception of a new race on the streets of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The Vietnam Grand Prix has not been included on the provisional 2021 calendar, with BBC reporting that the Vietnam Grand Prix is no longer a priority for various reasons., including the arrest of an official who championed the event. The date that was reserved for Vietnam – April 25 – is now the only unconfirmed slot on the 2021 calendar and could go to one of the new tracks from this year (Istanbul, Imola, Portimao) or even Sepang in Malaysia.
The 8.5 month F1 calendar proposed for 2021 begins in Australia on March 21 and ends in Abu Dhabi on December 5. It features a total of five back-to-back race weekends and two triple-headers in the second half of the season. The first triple header comes just after the summer break and sees Formula 1 visit three classic circuits in three weeks; Spa-Francorchamps for the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix on August 29, Circuit Zandvoort for the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix on September 5 and Monza for the Italian Grand Prix on September 12. After a 2-week break, the second triple header begins with races in Russia (September 26), Singapore (October 3) and Japan (October 10).
As expected the new race on the streets of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia takes place on November 28, one week before the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. Two races on the provisional calendar for 2021 are “subject to contract;” the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix on May 9 and the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix on November 14. The latter race is set to remain at Interlagos in Sao Paulo for at least one more year, though Formula 1 is still planning to move the race in the near future to a controversial new circuit in Rio de Janeiro.