Brazil out, Saudi Arabia in on leaked provisional 2021 F1 calendar

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A first look at the potential 2021 Formula 1 calendar has been leaked with several changes included.

This season, F1 has had to adapt and overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, ditching its original schedule for a new 17-race championship based primarily in Europe with a final triple-header in the Middle East.

As outgoing CEO Chase Carey alluded to this week though, F1 is targeting a return to a more normal calendar next year, starting once again in March and ending in early December in Abu Dhabi.

22 races are also expected, the same as initially intended in 2020, while none of the new races included in the revised calendar are retained.

There is some conflicting information over exactly where the championship will begin however, as Racer reports Australia is to remain the opening race, while claims Bahrain will have the honour with Melbourne shifting to October.

Commenting on potential 2021 dates earlier this month, Australian GP CEO Andrew Westacott hinted all options were on the table.

“Our discussions with Formula 1 and also with Dorna, who run MotoGP, are regular and very, very positive in all regards,” MotorsportWeek quoted him as telling

“What I know for both motorsport calendars is that both intend to issue their provisional calendars for the 2021 season in mid-to-late October.

“What that means for Formula 1 is Melbourne will be in its traditional March season-opening slot on the provisional calendar.

“What it means for MotoGP is that Phillip Island will be in its traditional slot in late October on the MotoGP calendar."

However, Westacott made it clear that one thing Australia can't happen is a repeat of the last-minute cancellation in F1 this year.

“We’re adopting an approach which, if you wanted to use the words, is modular, expandable, adaptable, flexible, and it’s got to be sensible and very, very safe,” he added.

“My optimistic approach is that we’ll be ready to have spectators at Albert Park in late March.

“[But] the Grand Prix Corporation, the government, and Formula 1 will all have to realise that decisions have to be made this side of Christmas.

“That will be, obviously, a collective decision, but once it’s locked away, we need to commit to that because it’s not in anyone’s interest to have a cancellation of the nature of March this year.”

Elsewhere, places Baku back in April, having initially moved back to June for this year before cancellation, while the Vietnam and Dutch GP's retain their early-season dates.

Spain, which has yet to announce a new race contract for next year, is also included, while the rest of the European season is a return to the pre-Covid normal.

The only new race for 2021 is the inclusion of a Saudi Arabian GP on the streets of Jeddah, directly taking the November spot of the Brazilian GP.

This as Interlagos' contract expires at the end of this year, and the construction of a controversial new circuit in Rio de Janeiro is now unlikely to be ready in time - if it goes ahead at all.

See's full provisional calendar below.

1 Bahrain GP (Bahrain) 14 March
2 Vietnam GP (Hanoï) 28 March
3 China GP (Shanghaï) 11 April
4 Azerbaijan GP (Baku) 25 April
5 Dutch GP (Zandvoort) 2 May
6 Spanish GP (Barcelona) 9 May
7 Monaco GP (Monte-Carlo) 23 May
8 Canadian GP (Montreal) 6 June
9 Austrian GP (Spielberg) 20 June
10 French GP (Paul Ricard) 27 June
11 British GP (Silverstone) 11 July
12 Hungarian GP (Budapest) 25 July
13 Belgium GP (Spa) 29 August
14 Italian GP (Monza) 5 September
15 Russian GP (Sochi) 19 September
16 Singapore GP (Marina Bay) 26 September
17 Japanese GP (Suzuka) 10 October
18 Australian GP (Melbourne) 24 October
19 US GP (Austin) 7 November
20 Mexican GP (Mexico) 14 November
21 Saudi Arabian GP (Jeddah) 28 November
22 Abu Dhabi GP (Yas Marina) 5 December