BREAKING NEWS: F1 postpone 2021 season opener in Australia and Chinese Grand Prix amid Covid-19 travel restrictions… with new revamped campaign now set to get underway in Bahrain on March 28
- Formula One are having to revamp 2021 calendar due to Covid-19 restrictions
- Australia and China, two early races, have been affected by the major changes
- Melbourne race, usually the opener, will be in November and Shanghai is gone
- Season is now set to start in Bahrain on March 28, before heading to Imola
Formula One One bosses have unveiled a revamped calendar following the postponements of the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.
The traditional curtain-raiser at Melbourne’s Albert Park will move to November 21, while the round in Shanghai, scheduled to take place on April 11, will now only go ahead if another round drops off the schedule.
F1 officials have been forced into action with strict coronavirus travel restrictions in place in both countries.
The Australian Grand Prix, pictured, will now take place in November rather than March in 2021
Melbourne is usually the season-opener but not this year; Valtteri Bottas celebrates a 2019 win
The announcement means two of the opening three rounds have fallen by the wayside. But the sport remains confident of staging a record-breaking 23-round campaign.
Lewis Hamilton will kick off his championship defence in Bahrain on March 28 before the circus heads to Europe for a race in Imola on April 18.
It is expected Portimao in Portugal will then host the third round on May 2 before the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona a week later.
Australia’s new date of November 21 means the season will be extended by one week, with the campaign closing in Abu Dhabi on December 12.
The season is now set to start in Bahrain, where Romain Grosjean was involved in a big crash
Lewis Hamilton smiles at Shanghai in 2019, but that race has been taken off the 2021 calendar
The season-opener in Bahrain comes at the same circuit that Romain Grosjean suffered a horror crash at the back end of the 2020 season.
The French driver, who does not have an F1 drive for 2021, crashed his Haas into the barriers at 140mph before the car burst into flames.
In the same race, Lance Stroll flipped his Racing Point, and there will be all eyes on the 2021 race as it gets the season underway at the end of March.
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