Formula 1 has announced a provisional 23-race calendar for the 2021 season, with the sport set to return to Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix for the first time since 1985.
The race was on the original calendar for 2020, but was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Formula 1 will travel to Saudi Arabia and the Jeddah Street Circuit for the first time, despite the race being clouded in controversy over the country’s human rights record.
The Vietnamese Grand Prix, which was due to be held for the first time this year, has been dropped completely from the calendar following the arrest of one of the race’s key officials on corruption charges.
That leaves a vacant spot in the schedule, with reports suggesting that it could be filled by one of the tracks that were included on this year’s re-shaped calendar.
F1 officials were always hopeful that they could return to a full schedule in 2021, following the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
That means a return for several high-profile locations, such as Monaco, France and China.
The season’s traditional curtain-raiser will once again be held at Albert Park in Melbourne, with the Red Bull Ring in Austria having hosted this season’s opening race.
The Bahrain Grand Prix remains on the calendar, around the Sakhir Circuit, although the one-off race around the shortened Bahrain Oval track, scheduled for later in November, will not be held in 2021.
Races at Istanbul, Portimao, Mugello, Imola and Nurburgring – all of which featured this year having previously been off the calendar – are not included in the provisional 2021 schedule as things stand.
Upon the release of the news, Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey said in a statement on the official website: “We are pleased to announce the 2021 Formula 1 provisional calendar after extensive conversations with our promoters, the teams and the FIA.
“We are planning for 2021 events with fans that provide an experience close to normal and expect our agreements to be honoured.
“We have proven that we can safely travel and operate our races and our promoters increasingly recognise the need to move forward and manage the virus. In fact, many hosts actually want to use our event as a platform to show the world they are moving forward.”
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