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Abu Dhabi to host season-ending Formula One race on Dec 5 next year

Agencies/Abu Dhabi
Filed on November 10, 2020
Drivers compete at the Yas Marina Circuit during the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. — AFP file

(ANDREJ ISAKOVIC)

Saudi Arabia to host the penultimate race on November 28 in Jeddah.

Abu Dhabi will host the season concluding Formula One race on December 5, 2021 as a 23-race calendar for 2021 was unveiled on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia have been included in the next year's calendar as they will host the penultimate race on November 28 in Jeddah.

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Grand Prix has been dropped. Vietnam was due to host a street race in Hanoi for the first time last April, but that was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The absence of the Grand Prix on next year’s calendar has been attributed to local issues, although Formula One did not give a reason or mention Vietnam in a statement setting out the planned season.

“We are planning for 2021 events with fans that provide an experience close to normal and expect our agreements to be honoured,” said chairman and outgoing chief executive Chase Carey.

“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.

“We are delighted to see Saudi Arabia become part of the schedule and are equally excited to return to the venues we hoped to race at in 2020.”

The season will start with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 21, with Bahrain following a weekend later. It will end in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 5.

Saudi Arabia, with a Nov. 28 night race along the Red Sea corniche in Jeddah, will become the 33rd country to host a Formula One race.

Brazil’s race at Sao Paulo’s Interlagos circuit on Nov. 14 was subject to a new contract being agreed, as was Spain’s round in Barcelona on May 9.

Formula One had planned to move to a new circuit in Rio but that has proved controversial for environmental reasons and work has yet to start.

The Dutch Grand Prix, at Zandvoort, returns for the first time since 1985 with a race on Sept. 5 and immediately after the Aug. 29 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. It forms part of a triple header with Italy on Sept. 12.

Russia, Singapore and Japan will also form a first long-haul triple header on Sept. 26, Oct. 3 and Oct. 10.

McLaren boss Zak Brown said the planned 23 races represented “extremely positive news” for the sport’s teams and partners after a tough 2020.





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