The 2021 Formula 1 season’s calendar has been amended, with the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australian Grand Prix, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, was meant to open the 2021 F1 season, but the ongoing situation has meant it’s not feasible for it to take place in its original slot.
Instead, F1 has shifted the race at Albert Park towards the end of the season, with the race now due to take place on 21 November.
Travel restrictions also mean that China will also be unable to hold its grand prix in its original slot for the second year running, but as of yet, there are no details regarding whether it will be fitted in elsewhere.
The postponement of both of these events means that Bahrain will be host the season opening race, with the race taking place on 28 March.
There are not expected to be any concerns with the Bahrain Grand Prix going ahead after F1 held two races at the Sakhir circuit last season.
F1 bosses have also confirmed that Imola will return to the calendar for the second year running, with that race due to take place on 18 April, three weeks after the opening round.
Despite the postponements, F1 is still expecting to hold a record-breaking 23 races, with one event still to be confirmed, and the championship is hoping to be able to host fans throughout the year.
Speaking about the changes, Formula 1 CEO and President, Stefano Domenicalli said: “It has been a busy start to the year at Formula 1 and we are pleased to confirm that the number of races planned for the season remains unchanged.
“The global pandemic has not yet allowed life to return to normal, but we showed in 2020 that we can race safely as the first international sport to return and we have the experience and plans in place to deliver on our season.
“It is great news that we have already been able to agree a rescheduled date for the Australian Grand Prix in November and are continuing to work with our Chinese colleagues to find a solution to race there in 2021 if something changes.
“We are very excited to announce that Imola will return for the 2021 season and know our fans will be looking forward to the return of Formula 1 after the winter break and our revised season opener in Bahrain.
“Obviously, the virus situation remains fluid, but we have the experience from last season with all our partners and promoters to adapt accordingly and safely in 2021.”