F1 Braces For Another Year of Ever-Changing Schedules

The beginning, at least, of Formula 1’s 2021 season looks to be in line for a major shake up.

It appears increasingly likely that the season-opening F1 race in Melbourne, which is currently slated for March 21, will be postponed, as the sport wrestles with the mandatory quarantine rules and the Australian federal government considering banning all travel from Britain.

“I can’t see it (the race) happening,” said Australian and 1980 F1 World Champion Alan Jones. “It would take a miracle.”

Officially, the local Victorian state government in Australian is saying that discussions about the matter are ongoing.

“As part of those discussions, the government will continue to prioritize public health considerations while protecting our major events calendar,” a government spokesperson said.

Race organizers, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, said further detail will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

An even more ominous sign is the fact that tickets for the March 21 race have yet to go on sale. Should the Australian race be postponed or even cancelled for a second consecutive year, a season-opening doubleheader at Bahrain would be a possibility. Bahrain currently occupies the second date—March 28—on the 23-race 2021 F1 schedule.

FIA president Jean Todt says that the situation in the world makes it likely that, as in 2020, this year will not be a normal season.

“I assume we will hear about a lot of possible changes in the various calendars in the coming days, not just Formula 1,” Todt is quoted by DPA news agency.

Four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel agrees.

“The pandemic will have a major impact at least on the first part of the coming season,” Vettel said. “But I still hope that at some point we can return to something like normality.”

Deja vu all over again? Sure smells like we’re in for another season of scrambled schedules. Should cancellations pop up, what venues would you like to see the series consider as fill-in race hosts? Join in the conversation in the comments section below.

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