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A draft 2021 F1 calendar was presented to teams at yesterday’s meeting of the Formula 1 Commission, RaceFans understands.

Sources have indicated the schedule is along similar lines to the original calendar which was planned for the 2020 season before the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However while 22 races were originally due to take place this year, as many as 23 could take place in 2021. As previously reported these would include a new race on a street circuit in Jeddah, the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia.

The first Vietnam Grand Prix, which was supposed to take place earlier this year, will finally be held in Hanoi. The delayed return of the Dutch Grand Prix is expected to take place in September having originally been scheduled for May this year before being cancelled due to the pandemic.

The Dutch round will begin the first of a pair of triple-headers. It will be followed on consecutive weekends by visits to Spa and Monza. Later in the season F1 will also visit Singapore, Sochi and Suzuka within a three-week period.

Melbourne is slated to hold the season-opening race in March. However pre-season testing is likely to take place in Bahrain, and be held over just three days.

Questions remain over the possible relocation of Brazil’s round of the world championship from Sao Paolo to Rio de Janeiro, where a new circuit is planned, but faces opposition on environmental grounds. A new race in Miami, which was originally planned to take place in 2019 but has faced repeated delays, does not feature on the schedule, despite F1 having previously announced an “agreement in principle” to hold a race in May next year.

F1 aims to hold as many races possible with full spectator attendance once the season begin in March. However it expects some may have to be held with as little as 50% attendance due to ongoing restrictions related to Covid-19.

Formula 1 teams gave their feedback on the proposed schedule, which the series will consider in conjunction with race promoters to form a final calendar for the 72nd running of the world championship.

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