London [UK], November 10 (ANI): Formula 1 has revealed the calendar for the 2021 season, with 23 Grands Prix on the provisional schedule for next year. The season will start in Australia in mid-March, finish in Abu Dhabi in early December, and feature the first-ever World Championship race in Saudi Arabia.
With 23 races, the new schedule will be the longest in the history of the world championship.
The record-breaking calendar includes two pairs of triple-headers. Belgium, Netherlands and Italy's rounds will be held over three weekends after the summer break, then after a two-week gap Russia, Singapore and Japan's races will run consecutively.
The announcement follows an unprecedented year for Formula 1 in which the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a revised 2020 calendar of 17 races, as F1 became the first international sport to resume its season.
"The plans for 2021 have involved extensive dialogue with all promoters and their local and national authorities at a time of ongoing fluidity related to the global pandemic. Formula 1 and the FIA put in place robust health and safety measures to allow the revised 2020 season to restart and run effectively," read an F1 statement.
"Our hosts for 2021 are reassured by our safe return to racing this season and confident that the plans and procedures we have in place will allow us to return to a level of normality for the 2021 season," it added.
The FIA said it expects fans to return for the 2021 season and for the calendar to look similar to the originally planned 2020 season. "We will continue to work closely with our promoters and partners and look forward to the start of the season on March 18, 2021 in Australia."
Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1, said: "We are pleased to announce the 2021 Formula 1 provisional calendar after extensive conversations with our promoters, the teams and the FIA. We are planning for 2021 events with fans that provide an experience close to normal and expect our agreements to be honoured."
"We have proven that we can safely travel and operate our races and our promoters increasingly recognise the need to move forward and manage the virus. In fact, many hosts actually want to use our event as a platform to show the world they are moving forward," he added. (ANI)