Formula 1 releases provisional 23-race 2021 calendar

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Formula 1 has published its provisional 2021 calendar that includes a record 23 world championship rounds, although it has yet to confirm the venue for its April 25 slot.

The schedule confirms the disappearance of Vietnam's inaugural Grand Prix in Hanoi, with the event getting the boot following the arrest by the country's authorities of a key figure of its organisation.

A number of venues are currently under consideration to fill the vacant slot, including this year's "new" races at Portimão, Mugello, Imola, Istanbul and at the Nürburgring. It is also believed the Sepang in Malaysia could make a bid for the spring race.

F1 will return to Zandvoort in September instead of April, the initial period in which the Dutch GP was expected to take place, a change that delighted the event's sporting director Jan Lammers.

"This new date just after the summer has the advantage that the peak of the summer holidays is over, that there is a good chance the weather will be good, and the corona measures will be more limited," said the former F1 driver. "This is a great date for Zandvoort and the entire region."

Interlagos has been allocated an unexpected slot on next season's calendar. Following the expiration this year of the Brazilian GP's contract, it was believed that the country would remain off the schedule in 2021 and return with a race at Rio in 2022.

But Formula 1 has reportedly struck a deal with a new promoter at Interlagos.

Teams will have perhaps been unhappy to note that the record 23-race agenda features two triple headers, with Spa, Zandvoort and Monza taking place on consecutive weekends and Russia, Singapore and Japan also unfolding over a three-week period.

F1 boss Chase Carey who will step down from his chief executive role at the end of the year said he was confident in F1's ability to return to a "normal" season of racing in 2021, although much will obviously depend on the world's sanitary situation in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We’re planning for events, we’re planning to have fans, we’re planning to have a season that I don’t know that I’d say is ‘normal’, but certainly gets us back to normal, closer to normal on that track," Carey said.

"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."

Formula 1's provisional 2021 calendar:

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

* Subject to contract