F1 chiefs give green light to Portuguese GP in 2021

Formula 1 has given the go ahead for the Portuguese Grand Prix to take the vacant slot on the calendar, Motorsport.com can reveal, with teams to be informed of the decision on Thursday.

F1 chiefs give green light to Portuguese GP in 2021

Following some weeks of uncertainty about the make-up of the opening rounds of the 2021 schedule, the difficult coronavirus situation in Portugal had prompted doubts about whether or not the race could secure a slot on the schedule.

But following talks between F1 and race organisers over recent days to get a better understanding of the situation in the country, it is understood that both parties are happy that the event can go ahead.

Sources with good knowledge of the situation say that F1 has committed therefore to Portugal taking the ‘TBC’ slot in the calendar that has long been scheduled for May 2.

The decision on Portugal means that it is now official that Bahrain will hold the season opener on March 28, with Imola hosting the second round on April 18.

It is understood that teams will be formally informed of the calendar plans in a meeting of the F1 Commission that will take place on Thursday.

Read Also:

The Portuguese decision is not without its complications, though, because of the new quarantine restrictions that have been introduced in the United Kingdom.

Portugal is currently on the UK’s 'red list' of countries where anyone returning from must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

With it understood that no exemption on the ‘red list’ matter is being granted for elite sports, it means UK-based F1 team personnel will be unable to return home from Portugal before the Spanish Grand Prix on May 9.

The back-to-back nature of the Portuguese and Spanish rounds made it unlikely that many staff would have returned home anyway.

It does mean though that, with a 10-day lock-out period for anyone returning to the UK from Portugal, any staff leaving the country on the Monday after the race will not be able to go back to the UK immediately after Spain because of the requirement to isolate in a hotel.

It therefore means teams may potentially have to stay in Europe longer to continue racing.

Had the Portuguese GP not been able to go ahead then it was possible that F1 could have gone for holding two rounds in Bahrain.

However, while such a plan was an option, it is understood that talks never seriously advanced on this front and the Portuguese plan was always the priority.

As well as Thursday’s F1 Commission meeting set to finalise the calendar plans, it is also expected to debate and vote on a host of important topics for the sport.

Of key interest to fans is the potential trial of sprint races at some events in 2021, plus whether or not to go ahead with an engine freeze from 2022.

2021 Formula 1 calendar

March 28 Bahrain Bahrain Grand Prix Sakhir
April 18
Italy Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Imola
May 2 Portugal Portuguese Grand Prix Portimao
May 9 Spain Spanish Grand Prix Barcelona
May 23 Monaco Monaco Grand Prix Monaco
June 6 Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Grand Prix Baku
June 13 Canada Canadian Grand Prix Montreal
June 27 France French Grand Prix Le Castellet
July 4 Austria Austrian Grand Prix Spielberg
July 18 United Kingdom British Grand Prix Silverstone
August 1 Hungary Hungarian Grand Prix Budapest
August 29 Belgium Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps
September 5
Netherlands Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort
September 12 Italy Italian Grand Prix Monza
September 26 Russian Federation Russian Grand Prix Sochi
October 3
Singapore Singapore Grand Prix Singapore
October 10 Japan Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka
October 24 United States United States Grand Prix Austin
October 31 Mexico Mexican Grand Prix Mexico
November 14 Brazil Sao Paulo Grand Prix Sao Paulo
November 21 Australia Australian Grand Prix  Melbourne
December 5 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Jeddah
December 12 United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Abu Dhabi
shares
comments

Related video

Top 10 F1 to Indy car converts ranked

Previous article

Top 10 F1 to Indy car converts ranked

Next article

Why McLaren can be a true force in F1 again

Why McLaren can be a true force in F1 again
Load comments
The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge Prime

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past.

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Prime

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021