F1 chief Stefano Domenicali says the sport has to remain flexible with changing conditions in 2021 as well, despite a set calendar.
Already the 2021 F1 season has seen a change in its calendar with Australian GP moving to a November date and Bahrain GP taking over as the season-opener on March 28. The Chinese GP faces cancellation, as well, with Vietnam GP not even making on the list.
F1 has confirmed Emilia Romagna GP for Round 2 on April 18 – possible replacement of China – while a May 2 slot remains under TBA, which could be filled up by Algarve. The races after that in Spain and Monaco, have been duly confirmed by its organisers.
The speculation, though, is on for Azerbaijan and Canada, in the first half of the 2021 F1 calendar. The idea is still to stage 23 races but Domenicali has stated on record for the first time that they could have fewer races this year as well, with some repeats.
Domenicali echoes Chase Carey’s words from 2020, keeping the 2021 F1 calendar in flexible position. For now, the Italian states that all of the promoters and organisers want to stage their respective grand prix, but it will depend on the COVID-19 situation.
F1 indicated of fans in all of the grand prix at the start of the year but Domenicali admits that it could change, again, keeping the situation in check. “What I can share is that I’m personally speaking on a daily basis with all the organisers,” he said to Sky Sports.
“We know the pandemic is still there – that’s why we changed the place in the F1 calendar of Australia. But so far the information we have is that everyone really would like to go ahead with the plan. Of course we need to be flexible enough to understand that maybe in the first part of the season we may have some events with no public or with restricted members of the public.
“But what I can assure our supporters, our fans, is that really we want to make sure that the season is there, we have a commitment and we want to take that on board, and we have possible alternatives in case – but so far no one has given us different information to what we have shared.
“This is what we know today, but we know how the pandemic has evolved so we need to be ready for a flexible approach on the season. 23 F1 races is a very important number of races, no doubt. In terms of quantity, in terms of attention, in terms of dedication of the people. There could be two positions on that respect, someone can say there are too many, some others that that is not a problem.
“I would say that this equation will solve itself by the fact that if we’re able to deliver an incredible product, we may go to a situation where maybe we can go back to a fewer number of races and then maybe the chance of a rotation is possible for certain Grands Prix, keeping a focus on different areas. This is something that is in our plan to think about carefully this year, getting ready for when the world is normal again,” summed up Domenicali.
Here’s F1 Monaco GP confirming its 2021 date
Here’s news on F1 not postponing 2022 regs
Here’s news on Brazil GP deal in question
Here’s revised 2021 F1 calendar