A yr in the past, the query of when the System One season would begin remained unanswered proper up till the morning of the primary follow session in Australia, shortly earlier than which the season was postponed.
A number of instances of Covid-19 throughout the McLaren group left F1 authorities scrambling for what to do in March 2020, nonetheless not sure the best way to cope with racing throughout a pandemic.
In the long run, after loads of to-ing and fro-ing, the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled and the season was postponed. It lastly obtained underway in Austria, with groups frequently examined and saved aside by the bubble system.
The 2020 Austrian Grand Prix opened the season later than every other marketing campaign, kicking off on 5 July, greater than three months after the unique begin date.
F1 2021 season
- 28 March – Bahrain (Sakhir)
- 18 April – Emilia Romagna (Imola)
- 2 Could – Portugal (Portimao)
- 9 Could – Spain (Barcelona)
- 23 Could – Monaco (Monaco)
- 6 June – Azerbaijan (Baku)
- 13 June – Canada (Montreal)
- 27 June – France (Le Castellet)
- four July – Austria (Spielberg)
- 18 July – United Kingdom (Silverstone)
- 1 August – Hungary (Budapest)
- 29 August – Belgium (Spa)
- 5 September – Netherlands (Zandvoort)
- 12 September – Italy (Monza)
- 26 September – Russia (Sochi)
- three October – Singapore (Singapore)
- 10 October – Japan (Suzuka)
- 24 October – USA (Austin)
- 31 October – Mexico (Mexico Metropolis)
- 7 November – Brazil (Sao Paulo)
- 21 November – Australia (Melbourne)
- 5 December – Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
- 12 December – Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi)
This time round, the beginning has additionally been pushed again. As soon as once more, the Australian Grand Prix in March was a sufferer however this time has at the least been rescheduled for November, relatively than cancelled altogether. It signifies that groups will race in Bahrain for the third time in 4 months (it additionally hosted two races final yr) with the primary race of the 2021 season beginning on Sunday 28 March.
The delay to the 2020 season had far-reaching results for the game. With out racing, income streams had been restricted and to attempt to maintain the game solvent, there was an enforced manufacturing unit shutdown for a lot of the prolonged low season.
With out these measures, the extra well-established and financially steady groups may need been in a position to prolong their hole to the remainder of the sphere. As a substitute, progress was frozen.
Improvement over this winter has been equally stilted, however for fairly completely different causes. The impact of that prolonged delay to the 2020 season satisfied F1’s rule-makers to push again a proposed main change to the game’s laws. As of 2022, the automobiles could have a very completely different look and can sport an aerodynamic design that ought to encourage nearer racing and extra aggressive grands prix.
Nevertheless, the 2021 variations of the F1 automotive will look far more comparable, actually nearly the identical, to their earlier incarnations.
There have been some changes to the laws although, albeit in a much more watered-down means than initially deliberate. The ground design has been minimised, which means groups might be pressured to characteristic cutaway sections behind the automotive that can cut back total downforce, relatively than including additional components that created extra grip and extra soiled air behind them.
Groups can even must function inside a price cap for the primary time of slightly below $150million (£109million) though that doesn’t embrace issues like driver salaries, advertising and marketing prices and a $45m (£33m) allowance for “capital expenditure”.
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