Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey has expressed optimism that the
disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic will not have a knock-on effect on
the 2021 schedule.
Almost half of this year’s planned 22 events have so far
been postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic, with no certainty that the
remaining grands prix can take place as expected.
Events in Australia, Monaco and France have been cancelled,
while Bahrain, China, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada and Azerbaijan
are provisionally postponed.
It is hoped that the season can begin with two races in
Austria in July, followed by a similar structure in Britain, ahead of further
rounds in Europe, Asia and America.
The current intention is to conclude the 2020 season in
Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in mid-December.
Formula 1 had been striving to expand its calendar in recent
years, with a Grand Prix in Miami provisionally agreed for May 2021, and an
event in Saudi Arabia mooted.
Of the original 2020 grands prix it is understood that Spain
– which was handed a one-year contract for this season – and Brazil are the
events most at risk at dropping from the schedule.
When asked whether Liberty Media anticipated a 22-race
schedule in 2021, Carey replied: “We don’t have a magic number, but the answer
“Our goal is to have 2021 look like the 2021 we planned back
“Ultimately we have renewals to put in place, and we have
some ongoing discussions with a potential couple of new races that we think
would be a positive enhancement to the business for fans and shareholders.
“But we expect 2021 to look like the 2021 we were looking at
in January, so if we planned on 22 races then, again, we don’t have a magic number
but we’d still be planning on 22 races.”