Formula 1 has published its provisional calendar for the 2021 Formula 1 season, with Vietnam dropped and the Brazilian Grand Prix set to remain in Sao Paulo.

On Tuesday F1 announced its intended schedule for the 2021 season featuring 22 races, though it remains hopeful of finding a replacement for the planned inaugural race in Vietnam, which has been axed at the last minute.

Vietnam, which was due to host its first-ever grand prix around the streets of Hanoi in 2020 before it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been omitted from the calendar because of ongoing political issues over the race.

It is understood that the move to drop Vietnam from the schedule was triggered by the recent arrest of Hanoi People’s Committee chairman Nguyen Duc Chung, a key figure in the running of the race.

As a result, the 2021 calendar has decreased to 22 races, though F1 will stage its intended 23-round campaign if it can successfully find a replacement to fill the current ‘TBC’ blank slot on 25 April.

Turkey’s Istanbul, Italy’s Imola and Portugal’s Portimao are believed to be the leading candidates in the frame to replace Vietnam, with all three circuits appearing on the revised 2020 calendar.

Otherwise, the 2021 F1 calendar is very similar to the original 2020 schedule prior to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The other big change for 2021 sees the provisional inclusion of the Brazilian Grand Prix taking place at its traditional Sao Paulo venue.

Concerns over the environmental implications of constructing a new facility in the Deodoro area of Rio De Janeiro have delayed the project which has not yet been granted amid widespread criticism and controversy, with six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton among those who have signalled their opposition to the track being built.

As a result, F1 is planning to keep the Brazilian Grand Prix at its Interlagos, which has staged the race 37 times.

The race is likely to go ahead with a new promoter due to political complications between F1’s owner Liberty Media and the current promoter at the circuit, who is close to the sport’s former boss Bernie Ecclestone.

The 2021 calendar will be kicked off with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne returning as the curtain raiser on 21 March.

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone will take place on 18 July to avoid clashing with football’s Euro 2020 final at Wembley and the Wimbledon men’s singles final.

Another key change to the schedule sees the returning Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort - which was another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic - move from the spring to an early September slot.

The only other new race compared to 2020 will be the already-confirmed Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which will be held as a night race on the streets of Jeddah on 28 November, prior to the season finale in Abu Dhabi on 5 December. 

There will be a total of two triple-headers in seven weeks including a Russia-Singapore-Japan trio.

“We are pleased to announce the 2021 Formula 1 provisional calendar after extensive conversations with our promoters, the teams and the FIA," said F1 CEO Chase Carey. "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.”

The calendar is subject to final approval from the World Motor Sport Council, but a minimum of 22 races will make 2021 the longest season in F1 history. 

2021 Formula 1 Calendar
RaceDate
Australian GP (Melbourne)March 21
Bahrain GP (Sakhir)March 28
Chinese GP (Shanghai)April 11
TBCApril 25
* Spanish GP (Barcelona)May 9
Monaco GP (Monte Carlo)May 23
Azerbaijan GP (Baku)June 6
Canadian GP (Montreal)June 13
French GP (Paul Ricard)June 27
Austrian GP (Spielberg)July 4
British GP (Silverstone)July 18
Hungarian GP (Budapest)August 1
Belgian GP (Spa)August 29
Dutch GP (Zandvoort)September 5
Italian GP (Monza)September 12
Russian GP (Sochi)September 26
Singapore GP (Marina Bay)October 3
Japanese GP (Suzuka)October 10
United States GP (Austin)October 24
Mexican GP (Mexico City)October 31
* Brazilian GP (Sao Paulo)November 14
Saudi Arabian GP (Jeddah)November 28
Abu Dhabi GP (Yas Marina)December 5

*Subject to contract.