The 2021 Formula One season has already gotten off to a less than ideal start, with two races being postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Both the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix have had the plug pulled from their scheduled slots, due to both countries imposing strict rules on international arrivals, with Bahrain now becoming the F1 season opener in Sakhir on 26-28 March.
The Australian GP was due to take place in Melbourne on March 21-23 but has been rescheduled to 19-21 November instead, with discussions regarding rearranging the Chinese race, originally pencilled-in for 9-11 April are ongoing, according to a statement released by F1.
"It is great news that we have already been able to agree a rescheduled date for the Australian Grand Prix in November and are continuing to work with our Chinese colleagues to find a solution to race there in 2021 if something changes," F1 president Stefano Domenicali said.
But there is some good news. with fan-favourite track Imola inserting itself into the F1 calendar for the second year running on 16-18 April, becoming the second race of the season after Bahrain. The historic Italian circuit returned to the F1 calendar in 2020 after a 14-year hiatus.
"We are pleased to confirm that the number of races planned for the season remains unchanged. The global pandemic has not yet allowed life to return to normal, but we showed in 2020 that we can race safely as the first international sport to return and we have the experience and plans in place to deliver on our season," Domenicali added.