F1 confirms expanded 23-race season with British Grand Prix on 18 July

Formula One’s longest season has been confirmed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council for 2021. The calendar, consisting of 23 races, is scheduled to run from 21 March in Melbourne until 5 December in Abu Dhabi, with the British Grand Prix to be held on 18 July at Silverstone.

F1 had proposed its new calendar in early November and the FIA has now approved it. The previous longest season was 21 races but having held only 17 this year because of the coronavirus it is eager to expand once more, not least because of the major revenue stream of race-hosting fees.

As F1 previously stated there will be no race in Vietnam and the slot remains unfilled. Portimão in Portugal, which hosted its first GP this year, is believed to be the likely replacement for the slot on 25 April, a decision which would be welcomed by drivers and fans. The announcement on this final meeting on the calendar will be made in the new year.

The Brazilian GP, which had yet to sign a new contract, has also now confirmed a five-year deal with F1 to host the race at Interlagos in São Paulo. The Spanish GP on 9 May remains subject to contract but it is understood that will be concluded shortly.

The British GP’s date avoids a clash with the Wimbledon men’s singles final and the European Championship final at Wembley, which are both set to take place the previous weekend, on 11 July. The Canadian GP, however, takes place on the same weekend as the Le Mans 24 Hours – 13 June – a scheduling clash both parties have tried to avoid in recent years.

As planned Zandvoort in the Netherlands is on the calendar. The circuit last held a grand prix in 1985 and was due to do so this year before the race was cancelled. It has been scheduled for 5 September. The race at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia also features despite condemnation from human rights groups, who have accused the regime of using F1 to sportswash their reputation.