On Monday, Formula 1 team leaders met in Portimao with FIA President Jean Todt and the championship leadership to discuss the calendar for the 2021 season.
The meeting with the heads and owners of the teams, Jean Todt, Ross Brown, Chase Carey and Stefano Domenicali, lasted six hours. The issue of “freezing” the modernization of power plants, ways of saving, budgetary restrictions, new regulations and a calendar for the next season were discussed. There are 23 stages in the draft calendar, while Formula 1 does not have a backup plan in case it fails to carry out the season according to the planned schedule, as in 2020.
The absence of a “plan B” was explained by the unnamed team leader before the meeting: “We will not survive another such season.” In Formula 1, they want to return to the usual scheme, when the organizers of the stages pay promotional fees, and do not cash checks from Liberty Media for the rental of racetracks, as is the case now. Without fans in the stands, promoters will not be able to pay fees, which means that there will be no “closed” races in 2021.
In its final form, the calendar for the next season has not yet been formed, but the basic parameters are indicated. In addition to 23 stages, the date and place of the first race is already known – March 21 in Melbourne. A week after the Australian stage, the Bahrain Grand Prix will take place. It was decided to abandon plans to hold pre-season tests in Bahrain and start the season there. Tests will take place in Barcelona, dates have yet to be determined.
After Bahrain, the season will continue on April 11 with a race in China. Two weeks after the stage in Shanghai, it is planned to hold the Vietnamese Grand Prix, however, this race is in question not so much because of the situation with the coronavirus, but because of the policy of local authorities to open borders for foreigners.
The European part of the season will open with a race in Barcelona on May 9th. Then in two weeks the stage will take place in Monaco, and in another two weeks – in Baku.
Formula 1 will travel to Montreal in mid-June and then return to Europe. Before the summer break, which begins after August 1, races will be held in France, Austria, Great Britain and Hungary.
No further dates have been set, but two series of construction stages are already planned: Monza, Zandvoort and Spa, followed by Singapore, Suzuka and Sochi. The season will end as usual in Abu Dhabi.
There is still no clarity with races in the USA, Mexico and Brazil. If problems arise in some countries, then these races can be replaced with other Grand Prix, as in 2020. There are many circuits in the world that are ready to host the Formula 1 stage.