F1 2021 calendar: When is the next race, full season schedule and how to watch on TV

Last year’s Formula One season was heavily disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, but the FIA and F1 still managed to put on a season of 17 races. The pandemic is ongoing but that has not stopped a record 23-race season being planned. 

The season got under way on March 28 with the Bahrain Grand Prix and once we are done with the second race at Imola, races will come thick and fast. Read below for more information about the season including the full standings, how to watch and what is new for the season. 

When is the next race?

The next race is the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which takes place at Imola from Friday April 16 until Sunday April 18. 

What are the current standings?

Drivers top 10′: 


What’s new for 2021?

A fair bit and not a lot. You should remember that 2021 was supposed to be the start of a new era for F1 as significant regulation – and budgetary – changes came into play. With the financial damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, however, F1 decided to put back the regulation changes until 2022. Budgetary requirements have still come in (more about that here) but the cars will, largely, be the same as last season with a few small but significant tweaks. The Pirelli tyres have a new construction for this season, too. 

First and foremost, though, there are two “new teams”. Or rather two teams that have new names. Renault have become Alpine and Racing Point have become Aston Martin. 

The biggest and most significant change is the potential for three qualifying ‘sprint’ races, which would decide the grid order for Sunday’s Grand Prix at the British, Italian and Brazilian rounds. A bit more on the proposal here. 

Excluding any sprint race trials, the traditional four-day weekend – with Thursday usually reserved for various media duties – has been turned into a three-day event. The days of four hours worth of free practice are gone, too. Free practice one and two – previously 90 minutes each – will now only run for an hour. The 60 minutes of final practice on Saturday remains unchanged, though parc ferme rules will now apply after that session rather than after qualifying. 

This aerial photo taken on April 30, 2020, shows Dutch Zandvoort circuit, in Zandvoort, the Netherlands. - The Formula 1 Grand Prix was supposed to be held during the first weekend of May, but it has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus

Zandvoort will host the Dutch Grand Prix in September


There are a couple of new and returning circuits for this season, too. The first comes with the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort on September 5 (this was due to run in May last season) and also the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on December 5 on the Jeddah Street Circuit. 

On the driver side of things, Fernando Alonso returns for Alpine, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin make their debuts with Haas. Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda becomes the first full-time F1 driver to be born in the 21st century. Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo moves to McLaren, Carlos Sainz moves from McLaren to Ferrari and Sergio Peréz lines up alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull. 

And, if you particularly care about that type of thing, both Mercedes and Aston Martin will share Safety and Medical Car duties. They have been given an update for 2021 and they look pretty neat, I reckon. 

What do the cars look like?

Mercedes: W12 

Undated handout picture of the Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance Studio Shoot

The Mercedes W12

Credit: Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd./Handout 

Red Bull: RB16B

Handout photo provided by Red Bull of the Red Bull Racing RB16B. Issue date: Tuesday February 23, 2021. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Thomas Butler/Red Bull Content Pool/PA Wire. NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption.

Credit: Thomas Butler/Red Bull Content Pool 

McLaren: MCL35M

Undated handout photo provided by McLaren F1 of the new McLaren MCL35M Mercedes

Credit: McLaren F1 /PA

Aston Martin: AMR21

An undated handout photograph released by Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team on March 3, 2021 shows the team's AMR21, their new car for the 2021 Formula One season, at their facility in Leighton Buzzard, north of London

The Aston Martin AMR21


Alpine: A521

The Alpine A521

The Alpine A521

Credit: PA/Alpine F1/Handout 

Ferrari: SF21

Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF21 on track during Day One of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on March 12, 2021 in Bahrain, Bahrain

Credit: Getty Images Europe /Joe Portlock 

AlphaTauri: AT02 

The AlphaTauri AT02

The AlphaTauri AT02

Credit: Scuderia AlphaTauri on Twitter

Alfa Romeo: C41

Alfa Romeo's F1 car for the 2021 season

Alfa Romeo’s F1 car for the 2021 season

Credit: Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen on Twitter

Haas: VF21 

Haas team Formula One car for 2021.

The Russian-themed livery of the Haas VF21

Credit: Haas F1 team

Williams: FW43B 

Handout photo dated 05/03/2021 provided by Williams F1 of the new Williams 2021 FW43B

Williams unveiled a snazzy new livery in March

Credit: Williams-AMG F1/Handout 

How to watch the season

If you are in the UK, you can watch every practice session, qualifying and race on Sky Sports F1. Highlights will be broadcast on Channel 4 on Saturday and Sunday evenings, with one race – likely the British Grand Prix – shown live. 

If you are outside of the UK there is a good chance you will be able to subscribe to Formula One’s own F1TV. 

Will there be fans at the races this year?

Yes, but with the coronavirus pandemic in many different stages throughout the world, we are unsure which races and how many fans. Certainly there is a good possibility that the British Grand Prix on July 18 will be able to welcome the usual hundreds of thousands of spectators, if the Government’s roadmap for releasing restrictions is followed and all measures are done by June 21. 

Provisional 2021 F1 calendar in full

Naturally, the below dates come with the caveat that, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, these locations and dates could change. The Australian Grand Prix has already been postponed until November. Last season showed that circuits and organisers are there to step in at the last minute, so it is not unrealistic to expect a season as full as planned.  

The current plan is also for fans to be allowed, in some capacity at least, but we will have to see how that goes. At the moment only those who have been fully vaccinated or who have recovered from Covid. The Azerbaijan Grand Prix will take place behind closed doors. 

March 28 – Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir (Winner: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes)
April 18 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola
May 2 – Portuguese Grand Prix, Algarve
May 9 – Spanish Grand Prix, Catalunya
May 23 – Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo
June 6 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku
June 13 – Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal
June 27 – French Grand Prix, Le Castellet
July 4 – Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg
July 18 – British Grand Prix, Silverstone
August 1 – Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring
August 29 – Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps
September 5 – Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort
September 12 – Italian Grand Prix, Monza
September 26 – Russian Grand Prix, Sochi
October 3 – Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay
October 10 – Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka
October 24 – United States Grand Prix, Austin
October 31 – Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City
November 7 – Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Interlagos
November 21 – Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park
December 5 – Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah
December 12 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina

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