F1 calendar shaken up

Formula 1 has confirmed a new version of the calendar – as expected, with the season now beginning in Bahrain on March 28. The ongoing situation regarding COVID-19 has meant it is not feasible to begin the season in Melbourne, but the Australian Grand Prix will has been listed for November 18-21. The Chinese Grand Prix is also off and there are talks going on to reschedule the event, although this will not be easy. Imola will be on April 18, while the race that is still to be announced (probably Portugal) will be on May 2.

For the moment, therefore, the calendar remains at 23 races. In order to accommodate Australia, the races in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi have been pushed back a week from November 28 and December 5 to December 5 and December 12 respectively, while Brazil has been moved forward from November 14 to November 7, creating a new triple-header with Austin and Mexico. This will add to the tough nature of the travel – if, of course, things remain as they are – and there is not certainty of that.

F1 continues to say that it expects fans to return to the grandstands and to the Paddock Clubs but that will largelt depend on whether the local authorities think this is a good idea, and on whether fans actually want to go to races in a pandemic. That will differ from country to country, depending on the attitudes in the different nations.

17 thoughts on “F1 calendar shaken up

  1. With deal for May, 9th, confirmed for Barcelona, Portugal is no-brainer for a race week earlier – but negotiations seem to be unfinished

  2. This sort of reshuffling only to keep appearances up cannot help Formula 1’s credibility with its partners and investors.

    Are they still planning to go testing in Bahrain and then observe the required 10-day pause before the first race, basically shipping everyone off to Bahrain for three weeks or more to put on a single race?

    Why don’t they at least put two Grands Prix in the books while they are there? It’s not like their latest – let’s call it aspirational – version of the calendar has much wiggle room left.

  3. Do Monaco, Baku and Canada take 6 weeks to build as well? I imagine the decision on those will be the next pressing one. Slightly surprised they haven’t made Baku a double header as they’ve now only got one extra track left spare in Mugello. I suppose they could always fly back there the week before Abu Dhabi again.

    1. Don’t forget Istanbul, Nurburgring (or Hockenheim), Jerez, Aragon, Doha, Valencia, Donington. Probably in that order of likelihood to get a call up, too!

  4. A cursory look at the calendar and a map shows a bit of an oddity for travel with Silverstone being between Austria and Hungary? If you swapped Hungary and Silverstone around then most of teams – at least the UK based ones would already be home for the summer break.

  5. I am surprised that they not made Bahrain a double header using both circuits just like last year to get the season off and running. Is there a reason this is not happening? Money?
    Personally, though admittedly still some way off, I cannot see several other races happening this year especially if they need fans attending to make them pay. Monaco, Canada, Baku sort of head that list atm…

  6. Is Mugello likely for a return, or was that a Ferrari funded one off?

    How likely are hockenheim/Nurburgring if F1 gets desperate for venues again?

  7. Hello Joe.
    Do you think 2 races in Australia, in the space of 4 months, will happen? Eapecially considering that these are street races, so the organisers will put up the standa and all the other equipment, then take it down and put it back 2 months later?

  8. Well my fantasy for an Albert Park-Phillip Island Australian Grand Prix double header is now officially over…
    Joe, do you know if Mugello was considered for the replacement race?

  9. Hi Joe,
    Call me naive but would this not be a good time for Melbourne to make the long overdue changes to the circuit ahead of a 2022 return?
    Seem to recall you saying on a podcast that they could make changes to the first corner? Or will they just do an Abu Dhabi and keep the same layout that gives us such a tepid conclusion to the season?

    1. I cannot imagine them implementing any significant changes unless forced to during contract negotiations. (much like nothing much happened at Interlagos unless their contract was about to run out)

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