Formula 1 has abandoned its aim of hosting a 23-race season and revealed a revised calendar featuring 22 grands prix that will eventually include a first trip to Qatar.
The championship had remained committed to the idea of 23 races this season despite several calendar rejigs, race cancellations and replacements in the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the European leg of the season coming to an end, though, and doubt over several flyaway races, F1 has finally relented and reduced its schedule to 22 events.
The loss of the Japanese and Australian GPs in the second half of the year were recently confirmed and F1 has replaced one of these with a race on November 21 that is currently ‘TBC’ on the schedule but is expected to take place in Qatar.
The Turkish Grand Prix was in doubt because it is currently on the UK government’s ‘red list’ which means the seven UK-based teams and other F1 personnel would need to quarantine for 10 days on return from Istanbul.
However, that race has now been given a new date of October 10, two weeks after the Russian Grand Prix. In the event that the Istanbul race can’t happen, Mugello is lined up to be its replacement.
Turkey first joined the 2021 calendar in place of the cancelled Canada round but then dropped off itself because of its place on the red list – only to be reinstated later in the year instead of Singapore.
The United States Grand Prix will now be a standalone event instead of starting a triple-header in the Americas.
There will be a free week between the Austin race and the Mexican Grand Prix, which will start a triple header including Brazil and the likely Qatar event.
After a week off, the F1 season will then conclude with back to back races in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
Revised end-of-season F1 2021 calendar
August 29: Belgium
September 5: Netherlands
September 12: Italy
September 26: Russia
October 10: Turkey
October 24: United States
November 7: Mexico
November 14: Brazil
November 21: TBC (Qatar)
December 5: Saudi Arabia
December 12: Abu Dhabi