Brown: 2021 F1 calendar remains little of a game of chess


Formula 1 is expected to come out of the August break with a clearer schedule for the rest of the season, but there are still many possible scenarios due to COVID-19 and changing circumstances, says Mclaren racing boss Zak Brown.

The sport has forecast a record 23-race championship in 2021, with 12 more to come in the second half of this year, starting with the weekend at Spa-Franochamps at the end of this month.

Brown told Reuters: “I think once we get out of the summer break Stefano[Domenicali)willknowhowsoonhewillbetreatedinsomeoftheremainingterritoriesandthecalendarsinthepark”[Domenicali)sauraquellemainilaététraitédanscertainsdecesterritoiresrestantsetlecalendrierseramisenplace”[Domenicali)willknowwhathandhe’sbeendealtinsomeoftheseremainingterritoriesandtheschedulewillgointoplace”

Uncertainties remain over the Japanese Grand Prix scheduled for October 10, which, if canceled, could also affect a race in Turkey on October 3.

Turkey is on the red list of British countries, which means returning travelers must spend 10 days in hotel quarantine. By going to Japan, which is on the orange list, this requirement would be avoided.

Mexico and Brazil, which are due to host races in October and November, are also on the British red list. Seven of the 10 Formula 1 teams are based in England.

Brown said there was talk of having two races in Austin, Texas, but the situation was also fluid: “I hear that, but I also hear a lot of different programming scenarios. I think the reality is that no one probably knows for sure.

“I think it’s a bit of a chess game about what’s going on in that market and it goes on the redlist, or whatever you have, and there’s a domino effect. I have heard a variety of scenarios.

Brown hoped the success of the Tokyo Olympics, which ended Sunday and brought together more than 50,000 people operating in a tightly controlled bubble, would boost Formula 1 racing at Suzuka.

“From what I can tell, there was no drama that erupted at the Olympics, so it looks to me like that would increase confidence,” Brown explained.

“I think they said it would probably be a closed-door event and I think Formula 1 has shown that we as an industry are very good at traveling in and out of countries safely.

“I am convinced that we, as Formula 1, can organize a safe event. What you do not know is the state of play in the country itself,” added the McLaren boss. (Report by Alan Baldwin)


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