F1’s 23-race calendar for 2021 was an attempt to create a full race schedule in anticipation that the world would be coming out of its COVID-19 lockdown and some sense of normalcy would return. Unfortunately, the first race fo the season is being eyed for cancellation and now China is looking for a delay.
“We have been in contact [with F1] via conference call almost every week”, Yibin Yang, the general manager of race promoter Juss Event, told local media including Autosport on Saturday.
“Despite the calendar being in place as usual, I think it’s hugely uncertain the F1 race would take place in the first half of the year, in April.
“We aim to swap it to the second half of the year, and we have formally submitted the request that we hope to move it to the second half of the year.”
It’s a bit confusing because from some reports I have read in the Chinese press, the government has defeated COVID-19 and yet there are western media outlets suggesting the opposite. It would seem Yibin Yang may be suggesting the latter is more accurate.
The assumption at this point is that Imola and Portimao may be two locations form the 2020 calendar that slot in to fill the gap. That’s not a bad thing and some fans would actually prefer these older circuits.
Either way, one assumes that Stefano Domenciali and Jean Todt have backup plans for circuits given the terrific job F1 did in 2020.