Calendar F1 for 2021
The 2020 season will be severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 22 races originally planned, the discipline managed to save the championship from 17 races, including eight that were not in the program and six on the tracks that had never been seen or were absent from F1 for several years.
The motto in 2021, and when the world learned to live with the coronavirus, was to return to normal. However, this lasted only a few weeks, as on January 12, the discipline announced the postponement of the Australian EP (which was to open the season) to November and the Chinese EP. Then Bahrain became a new starting round, and Imola returned to the calendar, opening the European season in mid-April.
Compared to the program of recent seasons, the two future novelties will usually be the return of Zandvoort, interrupted by COVID, the date of which will be in September, and the arrival of Saudi Arabia, with a city race in Jeddah. The date remains to be filled at the beginning of the season due to the cancellation of the Vietnam Grand Prix, the first edition of which was to take place in 2020.
More symbolic: the emergence of two new names, from the Grand Prix of Mexico and Sao Paulo, instead of Mexico and Brazil, even if they take place on the same tracks as in recent years.
At the technical level, the regulatory revolution was planned for 2021, but was postponed to 2022 to avoid excessive team spending during the COVID crisis. Thus, the regulations of 2021 have hardly changed compared to 2020.
Almost due to the fact that there will be changes, the degree of consequences has yet to be determined. Indeed, to reduce the downforce created by single-seater cars, and thus limit pneumatic risks, part of the flat bottom in front of the rear tires will be reduced compared to previous seasons, and other minor modifications will take place on various air components. F1 believed that all these changes, as a rule, represent a 10% drop in the total amount of suppression.
Again, to avoid cost multiplication, the chassis used will be partially frozen between 2020 and 2021. However, in addition to these changes, each team will have two tokens to upgrade certain parts of their cars. A little sophistication: all stables, where in 2020 there were spare parts for 2019, provided by another manufacturer, will be able to switch to spare parts for 2020 without the use of a token.
In terms of tires, Pirelli has spent part of 2020 working on improved, safer and less wear-resistant products to be introduced this season.
Four drivers change teams in 2021: Sergio Perez switches from Racing Point (which becomes Aston Martin) to Red Bull, Daniel Riccardo switches from Renault (which becomes Alpine) to McLaren, Sebastian Vettel switches from Ferrari to Aston Martin, and Carlos Sainz passes from McLaren to Ferrari.
Fernando Alonso returns to Formula 1 after two years out of the squad and will go to the “Alpine”. On the other hand, three drivers make their debut in the highest discipline: Yuki Tsunoda in AlphaTauri and the duo of Mick Schumacher / Nikita Mazepin in Haas.
Three teams have to keep their duo intact: Alfa Romeo, Williams and Mercedes, although the extension of Lewis Hamilton’s contract is not yet official, although it is expected.
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Due to limited regulatory changes and partial chassis freezing, as well as cost considerations, it was decided that the 2021 winter trials would be reduced to three days. The question now is whether they will take place, as in recent years in the district of Barcelona-Catalonia in Spain or in the Sahir on the side of Bahrain, and on what dates.
Dates of single presentations for the upcoming season will be announced in the coming weeks. The Aston Martin is now due to be unveiled in February, as Ferrari has indicated that the SF21 is expected to be unveiled shortly before testing begins.