F1 keen to keep 23-race 'promise' despite Australian GP cancellation

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Formula 1 will work to keep its "promise" of 23 Grands Prix in 2021, CEO Stefano Domenicali says.

On Tuesday, it was confirmed the Australian GP, originally rescheduled for November from its March date, would not be going ahead this year due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in the country.

However, in their statement, F1 declared there was "a number of options" on the table to fill the vacant spot, and this comes after Domenicali vowed to keep a full calendar.

"I want to keep 23 races because it has been promised," he told the BBC last month. "It is a matter of showing the commitment to achieve what has been discussed.

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"Saying that I want to make sure we do 23 races provided the situation we are living with Covid will not create impossible constraints in which we cannot run.

"The right situation is complicated, but you can be sure I will not give up until the last moment."

Recently, Singapore also cancelled its 2021 race with Turkey taking over its slot on October 1-3.

And looking ahead, questions remain over Japanese and Brazilian GP's in particular, with the prior thought to be dependent on the success of the Tokyo Olympics.

If any need replacing, a second US race in Austin or at Indianapolis has been suggested, while the Chinese GP also remains postponed.

As for the Australia date, another race in Bahrain could make the most sense, potentially forming a final tripleheader with the Saudi Arabian and Abu Dhabi GP's to conclude the season.

But as for F1's desire to push ahead with a 23-race calendar, McLaren driver Lando Norris fears the packed schedule could have a mental impact on the teams.

“F1 are doing more and more and they are going down the right path, but 23 races is not a help towards that,” he told The Guardian on how F1 approaches mental health.

“23 races is tough. The amount of racing is the only thing that can start to impact and take a toll on the team because they don’t get to see their families much, especially with Covid and isolation. For me, that’s one of the biggest things.”