Saudi Arabia F1
Saudi Arabia's Jeddah will be a brand new stop in the 2021 Formula One calendar which was announced on Tuesday. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Dubai: A 23-race provisional Formula One calendar for the 2021 season was announced on Tuesday, with UAE capital Abu Dhabi once again scheduled to host the season finale on December 5, 2021. A signficant addition to next year’s programme will be Saudi Arabia, with Jeddah hosting the penultimate race on November 28.

The 2021 season follows an unprecedented year for Formula 1 in which the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a revised 2020 calendar of 17 races and the first international sport to resume its season. The plans for next year have been finalised following extensive dialogue with all promoters and their local and national authorities at a time of ongoing fluidity related to the global pandemic.

The season is scheduled to start from the weekend between March 18-21 in Melbourne, with the Bahrain Grand Prix at the Sakhir Circuit scheduled on March 28. The venue of the fourth race on April 25, which was originally scheduled for Vietnam but subsequently cancelled, is yet to be decided.

Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1, said in a statement: “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. We are delighted to see Saudi Arabia become part of the schedule and are equally excited to return to the venues we hoped to race at in 2020. We want to thank all our promoters and partners for their ongoing enthusiasm and collaboration and look forward to giving our fans an exciting season on the track.”

'Immense pride'

Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal, President of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation said: “To confirm the exact date of 28th November 2021 as the official date and first Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix while seeing the name of Jeddah now alongside legendary F1 locations such as Monaco, Silverstone, Singapore and Suzuka, fills me with immense pride and excitement in equal measures.

“Today, we take another step forward on our F1 journey. The Saudi people can look forward to coming together in 2021 for a historic weekend of motorsport and celebration like never before. Fans already know what we can do through the experiences we have given at Formula E and Dakar. Now we will go up a gear to reach new heights. An enormous amount of work lies ahead but with the support of the Quality of Life Initiative under Vision 2030 already the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation has exciting plans in place to share this event with all and enrich the lives of all who attend.”

2021 Calendar

Date Country Venue

March 21: Australia (Melbourne)

March 28: Bahrain (Sakhir)

April 11: China (Shanghai)

April 25: TBC  TBC *

May 9: Spain (Barcelona)

May 23: Monaco (Monaco)

June 6: Azerbaijan (Baku)

June 13: Canada (Montreal)

June 27: France (Le Castellet)

July 4: Austria (Spielberg)

July 18: UK (Silverstone)

Aug. 1: Hungary (Budapest)

Aug. 29: Belgium (Spa)

Sept. 5: Netherlands (Zandvoort)

Sept. 12: Italy (Monza)

Sept. 26: Russia (Sochi)

Oct. 3: Singapore (Singapore)

Oct. 10: Japan (Suzuka)

Oct. 24: United States (Austin)

Oct. 31: Mexico (Mexico City)

Nov. 14: Brazil (Sao Paulo)

Nov. 28: Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)

Dec. 5: Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi)

* Subject to a new contract being agreed