F1 plans 23 race season for 2021 with addition of Saudi Arabia

Sports Desk, Nov 10 (efe-epa) – Formula One on Tuesday announced its provisional 2021 calendar with a bumper schedule of 23 Grand Prix, more than ever before, including the first-ever slated to be held in Saudi Arabia.

The season is set to start on 21 March with the Melbourne GP and will conclude on 5 December in Abu Dhabi, according to the draft schedule.

The competition is also set to visit Bahrain, China, Spain, Monaco, Azerbaijan, Canada, France, Austria, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

The fourth fixture of the season, set for 25 April, is yet to be confirmed and Vietnam was dropped from the schedule.

Formula 1 organizers said the calendar was developed following close dialogue with local authorities and promoters given the challenges posed by the Covid-19 health crisis, which reduced this year’s calendar to 17 races, almost all limited to European venues.

In a statement, F1 said: “Our hosts for 2021 are reassured by our safe return to racing this season… the plans and procedures we have in place will allow us to return to a level of normality for the 2021 season.”

“As we have said before, we expect fans to return for the 2021 season and for the calendar to look similar to the originally planned 2020 season. We will continue to work closely with our promoters and partners and look forward to the start of the season on the 18th March 2021 in Australia.”

The 2021 calendar is to start with the Melbourne GP, as is tradition, before heading to Bahrain and then China (Shanghai).

By May the season will be in Europe with a race in Spain (Barcelona) — subject to contract — and Monaco. By June it will head over to Azerbaijan (Baku) followed by Canada (Montreal) and France (Le Castellet).

Austria (Spielberg), Britain (Silverstone), Hungary (Budapest) and Belgium  (Spa) will host GPs during the summer before September gets fall kicked off with the Netherlands (Zandvoort), Italy (Monza) and Russia (Sochi).

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