F1 adopting "flexible approach" to 2021 calendar - Domenicali

Stefano Domenicali says Formula 1 is taking a "flexible approach" towards its 2021 calendar amid the ongoing pandemic and revealed alternative races are on standby if changes are required

F1 adopting "flexible approach" to 2021 calendar - Domenicali

After 13 of its planned grands prix were cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, F1 announced a 23-race calendar for 2021 that followed its regular scheduling.

But F1 has already been forced to postpone the Australian Grand Prix due to the continued restrictions amid the pandemic, moving it from March to November, while the Chinese Grand Prix is currently off the calendar.

Although F1 has stated its commitment to delivering on the existing schedule, series president and CEO Domenicali acknowledged there was a need to be flexible, with back-up events ready if required.

"We are, and I personally am in contact on a daily basis with all of the organisers, because we know that the pandemic is still there, and we know very well about it," Domenicali said speaking to Sky Sports F1 in his first major interview since starting in his new role.

"That's why we changed the place in the calendar on Australia. But so far, the information that we have is everyone would like really to go ahead with the plan.

"Of course, we need to be flexible enough to understand that maybe in the first part of the season, we may have some events with no public or with restricted number of public.

"But what I can assure our supporters and our fans is that really we want to make sure that the season is there. We have a commitment, we want to take that on board.

"We have possible alternatives in case of, but so far, no-one has given us different information from what we've shared.

"There's no reason to lie, there's no reason to say something that is not right and correct. This is what we know today, but we know how the pandemic has evolved, so we need to be ready for a flexible approach on the season."

F1 has already added the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola to the calendar as the second round of the season, and is expected to draft in Portimao to host the third race. Both tracks were used as alternative venues in 2020 after the changes were made to the calendar.

The postponement of Australia led to the creation of a third triple-header on the 2021 schedule with a date change for the Brazilian Grand Prix, leading to concerns about the impact the calendar will have on teams.

Domenicali said the length of future F1 calendars would be defined naturally, and that it was feasible to reduce the number of races if the product was right.

"23 races is a very important number of races, no doubt, in terms of quantity, in terms of attention, in terms of dedication of the people," Domenicali said.

"There could be two positions on that respect. Someone can say there are too many, some others that it is not a problem.

"I would say that this equation will solve itself by the fact that if we are able to deliver an incredible product, we may go to a situation where maybe we can go back to a number, a fewer number of races, having maybe the chance of having rotation possibility for certain grand prix, keeping a focus on different areas.

"This is something that is in our plan to think carefully this year, and get ready when the world will be normal again."

shares
comments
Perez already working on "some good ideas" to help Red Bull ahead of F1 2021
Previous article

Perez already working on "some good ideas" to help Red Bull ahead of F1 2021

Next article

Red Bull F1 driver Perez felt like 'stupidest guy on earth' when he got COVID

Red Bull F1 driver Perez felt like 'stupidest guy on earth' when he got COVID
Load comments
Explaining the key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Plus

Explaining the key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Plus

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads Plus

Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's historics crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Plus

Why Leclerc's historics crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of “needle” between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage Plus

Why the lack of “needle” between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Plus

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Plus

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but MARK GALLAGHER believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Plus

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells OLEG KARPOV how close Haas came to the abyss

Formula 1
May 14, 2022