Chinese GP confirms request for delayed 2021 race date

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The promoter of Formula 1's Chinese Grand Prix has confirmed a request to delay the 2021 race until the second half of this year.

Not two weeks into the new year and already Covid-19, which decimated the 2020 F1 calendar and continues to surge in Europe, is threatening this year's schedule with March's Australian GP already set to be postponed.

Now, the Chinese race organiser in Shanghai, Yibin Yang, has signalled his event is looking to follow suit and join Melbourne in pushing for a new date later in the year.

“We have been in contact [with F1] via conference call almost every week”, he told local media this past weekend.

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“Despite the calendar being in place as usual, I think it’s hugely uncertain the F1 race would take place in the first half of the year, in April.

“We aim to swap it to the second half of the year, and we have formally submitted the request that we hope to move it to the second half of the year.”

Of course, last year, the Chinese GP was the first race to be called off due to the virus and was not rescheduled, as a revised 17-race calendar was put together instead.

And while the Australian GP is being linked to a November date, recent reports claim F1 is already considering the Portuguese GP for Shanghai's original April date.

If that is the case, it would keep the number of planned races at 23, should a deal with Imola also be reached, and potentially rule out any chance of reorganising the Shanghai round for later in 2021.

Of course, that would be dependent on the rest of the calendar going ahead as planned, and with the current Covid situation in the Americas still looking bleak, that is far from guaranteed even as the pace of vaccinations increases.