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

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Smith
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021