The Vietnamese Grand Prix has been dropped from the 2021 Components 1 calendar, elevating doubts that the race will ever happen.
A road race within the capital Hanoi was on account of make its debut in April this yr earlier than it was known as off on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
The date of the Vietnam race, 25 April, has been left clean on a 22-race schedule for 2021 printed on Tuesday. The calendar might lengthen to 23 grands prix – a brand new file – if F1 can discover a alternative for Vietnam.
The 2021 season is scheduled to begin in Australia on 21 March and finish in Abu Dhabi on 5 December.
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is on 18 July and the brand new Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, introduced final week, the penultimate race on 28 November.
Following the expertise of building this yr’s truncated season, and talks with the nations concerned for 2021, F1 mentioned it was assured it will be capable to run its calendar subsequent yr so long as the worldwide pandemic doesn’t take a serious flip for the more serious.
An F1 assertion mentioned: “The plans for 2021 have concerned in depth dialogue with all promoters and their native and nationwide authorities at a time of ongoing fluidity associated to the worldwide pandemic.
“Components 1 and the FIA put in place strong well being and security measures to permit the revised 2020 season to restart and run successfully.
“Our hosts for 2021 are reassured by our protected return to racing this season and assured that the plans and procedures now we have in place will enable us to return to a degree of normality for the 2021 season.”
F1 chairman and chief government officer Chase Carey mentioned: “We’re planning for 2021 occasions with followers that present an expertise near regular and count on our agreements to be honoured.
“Now we have confirmed that we will safely journey and function our races and our promoters more and more recognise the necessity to transfer ahead and handle the virus.
“In actual fact, many hosts truly wish to use our occasion as a platform to point out the world they’re transferring ahead.”
Why did Vietnam race collapse?
The elimination of Vietnam, which on the time was the primary new occasion launched by F1’s new house owners Liberty Media, has been triggered by the arrest on corruption prices of a key official answerable for the race in Hanoi.
Hanoi Individuals’s Committee chairman Nguyen Duc Chung was arrested in August for alleged appropriation of documents containing state secrets.
The case just isn’t associated to his involvement within the grand prix.
Nevertheless, Chung was the important thing determine within the race being launched and championed it with the nationwide authorities. His absence has led to a vacuum and Vietnamese authorities have instructed F1 that the federal government has different priorities, together with key elections, the pandemic and restoration from a hurricane.
Talks are ongoing with regard to a attainable race in Vietnam in 2022, however the state of affairs raises the numerous risk that the occasion can be still-born.
Any alternative race subsequent yr can be at one of many tracks added to the calendar this yr on account of the pandemic, with Turkey, Italy’s Imola and Portugal’s Portimao the main candidates.
Why Sao Paulo and never Rio?
One key growth is that the calendar includes a race in Brazil, and it’s scheduled to be in Sao Paulo fairly than Rio de Janeiro. The occasion is listed as provisional for now.
The contract for Sao Paulo’s Interlagos monitor, which has hosted the occasion since 1990, ended this yr, and F1 has agreed a deal for a race at a brand new circuit but to be constructed within the Deodoro space of Rio.
Nevertheless, the Rio monitor requires environmental approval because it entails the felling of a patch of forest.
This has not but been granted and the undertaking is clouded in controversy and confusion, with world champion Lewis Hamilton amongst these indicating their opposition to the track being built.
F1 has political problems in returning to Interlagos, as the game’s proprietor Liberty Media refuses to cope with the promoter on the circuit, who’s near former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.
The race is prone to go forward with a brand new promoter.
In any other case, the calendar bears a robust resemblance to the unique 2020 schedule, which needed to be restructured after the primary 10 races have been known as off on account of the pandemic.
The most important change is the transferring of the Dutch Grand Prix from the spring to five September, the place it follows per week after the neighbouring Belgian occasion.
The race on the seaside city of Zandvoort had been on account of return for the primary time since 1985 this April, however was a casualty of the pandemic.
2021 Components 1 calendar
- 21 March Australia (Melbourne)
- 28 March Bahrain (Sakhir)
- 11 April China (Shanghai)
- 25 April TBC
- 9 Might Spain (Barcelona)
- 23 Might Monaco
- 6 June Azerbaijan (Baku)
- 13 June Canada (Montreal)
- 27 June France (Le Castellet)
- 4 July Austria (Spielberg)
- 18 July Britain (Silverstone)
- 1 August Hungary (Hungaroring)
- 29 August Belgium (Spa)
- 5 September Netherlands (Zandvoort)
- 12 September Italy (Monza)
- 26 September Russia (Sochi)
- 3 October Singapore (Marina Bay)
- 10 October Japan (Suzuka)
- 24 October USA (Austin)
- 31 October Mexico (Mexico Metropolis)
- 14 November Brazil (Sao Paulo) *
- 28 November Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
- 5 December Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
* = provisional pending promoter settlement