Domenicali says all events on the 23-race calendar for the 2021 season can feasibly take place based on current information, despite the need to be flexible given the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says the championship is adopting a “flexible approach” with its 2021 calendar.
F1 revealed a revised calendar earlier this month, with the planned season-opener in Australia being pushed back until November due to travel and quarantine restrictions, meaning the campaign will start a week later than intended on 28 March Bahrain, which will also host pre-season testing on 12-14 March.
Imola is returning to the calendar to replace the Chinese Grand Prix, which has also been postponed, with the venue which hosted last year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix making a comeback as the second round of the season, while the current ‘TBC’ slot on 2 May is expected to be filled by Portugal’s Portimao circuit.
Speaking in his first major interview since taking over from Chase Carey, ex-Ferrari boss Domenicali stressed that F1 will be adaptable in its efforts to pull off its 23-round record-breaking world championship season, with back-up events already being lined up.
“What I can share is that I’m personally speaking on a daily basis with all the organisers,” Domenicali told Sky Sports. “We know the pandemic is still there – that’s why we changed the place in the calendar of Australia.
“But so far the information we have is that everyone really would like to go ahead with the plan. Of course we need to be flexible enough to understand that maybe in the first part of the season we may have some events with no public or with restricted members of the public.
“But what I can assure our supporters, our fans, is that really we want to make sure that the season is there, we have a commitment and we want to take that on board, and we have possible alternatives in case – but so far no one has given us different information to what we have shared.
“This is what we know today, but we know how the pandemic has evolved so we need to be ready for a flexible approach on the season.”
“23 races is a very important number of races, no doubt,” he explained. “In terms of quantity, in terms of attention, in terms of dedication of the people. There could be two positions on that respect, someone can say there are too many, some others that that is not a problem.
“I would say that this equation will solve itself by the fact that if we’re able to deliver an incredible product, we may go to a situation where maybe we can go back to a fewer number of races and then maybe the chance of a rotation is possible for certain Grands Prix, keeping a focus on different areas.
“This is something that is in our plan to think about carefully this year, getting ready for when the world is normal again.”
WE ARE FLEXIBLE AND HAVE ALTERNATIVE RACES – DOMENICALI ABOUT CALENDAR 2021 WE ARE FLEXIBLE AND HAVE ALTERNATIVE RACES – DOMENICALI ABOUT CALENDAR 2021