2021 Formula 1 Schedule Returns to Normal With 23-Race Season Starting in March

It might be too soon to bet on "normalcy," but that's what F1 has done anyway.

2019 Australian Grand Prix, Sunday - LAT Images
Daimler AG—© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Though forced into a condensed 2020 calendar, Formula 1 is hopeful that the storm that is COVID-19 will pass by the Spring of 2021. It made this clear with the announcement of its 2021 season calendar, which will commence in Australia the day after Spring Solstice on March 21.

F1's 2021 race calendar could feature a record 23 events, mostly comprised of returning favorites with no one-off circuits like the hastily cobbled-together 2020 schedule. There will still be plenty of novelty, however, as the Dutch Grand Prix will be hosted at Circuit Zandvoort for the first time since 1983, and despite protests over the state's flagrant human rights abuses, Saudi Arabia has cajoled its way into a slot. Widespread boycotts of the race, however, are expected.

Despite plans to introduce Vietnam to the F1 calendar this year, the Asian nation is again absent from 2021's schedule, as the government official who backed the race are being arrested on charges of corruption, per the BBC. Spain and Brazil are also under threat of falling off the wagon; Circuit de Catalunya's reprisal of its role in 2020 was on a one-year contract, and F1's longtime Brazilian Grand Prix venue at Interlagos has in recent years become unfavorable for fans, teams, and officials alike.

High crime (sometimes impacting teams), poor accommodations, and pressure from within Brazil could see the event canceled or relocated, the latter involving a move to a track near Rio de Janeiro. As construction of the replacement circuit is not yet complete, though, F1's Brazil choices appear to be Interlagos or nothing for the time being. And there's no guarantee it won't pick the latter.

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