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Formula 1

Domenicali reveals F1 2021 calendar backup plans

A Bahrain double header, a return to Portimao and a possibility of the Chinese and Vietnamese Grand Prix coming back on the calendar to cover for other races which could be cancelled due to the pandemic.

Stefano Domenicali 2
To news overview © Stefano Guindani

Formula 1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali has said that a double race at Bahrain and a possible move for the cancelled Chinese Grand Prix to after the summer remain on the table as contingency plans should more races fall off the 2021 calendar.

Domenicali said that a double header at Bahrain similar to that at the end of last season was “for sure” an option to replace any further dropouts from the planned 23 races this year, while also not ruling out the possibility of a return for the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao.

“As you can imagine, we are fluid and flexible to be ready with other possibilities,” Domenicali told select members of the press, including RacingNews365.com.

"We have already let’s say different plans B, C and D as well as A in case of [cancellations]. But here I am totally transparent because the things that are fixed in today can be different tomorrow."

The F1 CEO also addressed the possibility of the return of Portimao for the remaining empty slot on the calendar.

"As you know, there is a TBC date there, and if it would have been Portugal then it would have been written down as Portugal," Domenicali explained.

"And the reason why it is not is because the situation is not closed yet. And of course, as soon as we can we will be able to announce something that, by the way, will be in the next days, not in the next two months."

Meanwhile the Chinese Grand Prix, which along with the Australian race was removed from its original slot on the calendar due to local regulations surrounding the pandemic, could be moved to later in the year to account for the wishes of the domestic authorities.

“In this moment we have [heard] from the government that up to summertime they are not willing to have any kind of international event there,” Domenicali said. "So then we are going to consider that China 2021 calendar in case there is a problem with another place that we need to change at the last minute

Domenicali also explained that the cancelled Vietnam Grand Prix, which was set to be the country’s first time hosting a Formula 1 race, remained an option as a backup destination.

“[The Vietnamese race] has been an incredible investment, and it's therefore still on the table of discussion for a future event,” Domenicali stated.


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