2021 Formula One World Championship
|2021 FIA Formula One
FIA Formula 2 Championship
FIA Formula 3 Championship
The 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship is a planned motor racing championship for Formula One cars which will be the 72nd running of the Formula One World Championship. It is recognised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the governing body of international motorsport, as the highest class of competition for open-wheel racing cars. The championship is due to be contested over a series of races, or Grands Prix, held around the world. Drivers and teams are scheduled to compete for the titles of World Drivers' Champion and World Constructors' Champion respectively.
The following teams and drivers are currently under contract to compete in the 2021 World Championship. All teams will compete with tyres supplied by Pirelli. Each team is required to enter at least two drivers, one for each of the two mandatory cars.
|Constructor||Chassis||Power unit||No.||Driver name||Ref.|
|Aston Martin-TBA||RP20[a]||TBA||11||Sergio Pérez|||
|55||Carlos Sainz Jr.|||
|Mercedes||F1 W11 EQ Performance||Mercedes||TBA||TBA|||
|Red Bull Racing-Honda||RB16||Honda||33||Max Verstappen|||
McLaren announced that they would change from using Renault power units to ones built by Mercedes. Racing Point will become known as Aston Martin. The name change was brought about by the team's part owner Lawrence Stroll investing in the Aston Martin marque.
Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Ferrari at the end of the 2020 championship. The four-time World Drivers' Champion will have raced for the team for six seasons. Vettel's seat will be taken by Carlos Sainz Jr., who will leave McLaren. Daniel Ricciardo is due to move from Renault to McLaren where he will replace Sainz.
List of planned racesEdit
The following eighteen Grands Prix are under contract to be held as part of the 2021 World Championship:
The following four races are under contract to run in 2020, but not for 2021:
Calendar expansion and changesEdit
Liberty Media, the sport's commercial rights holders, announced that there would be scope for the 2021 calendar to expand beyond the planned twenty-two races of the 2020 calendar. The sporting regulations were amended to allow for a maximum of twenty-five Grands Prix per year.
- The Dutch Grand Prix is due to be revived, with the race scheduled to take place at the Circuit Zandvoort. The race will mark the first time the Dutch Grand Prix has been run since 1985. The Dutch Grand Prix had been included on the 2020 calendar, but was cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Liberty Media was reported to have signed an agreement to host a second race in the United States. When a proposal for a race around Downtown Miami and Dodge Island was rejected, a circuit around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens was named as the preferred venue. 2021 was put forward as the earliest date for the race.
- Organisers of a proposed event in Rio de Janeiro announced plans to bid for the rights to host the Brazilian Grand Prix. Under the proposal, the race would move from the Interlagos circuit in São Paulo to the Rio MotorPark, a brand-new circuit to be built for the event.
Further changes to the calendar are planned following the disruption to the 2020 championship brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Australian, French and Monaco Grands Prix are due to return to the calendar, as the 2020 races were cancelled because of the pandemic. The Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring and the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit will be removed from the calendar. The Styrian and Anniversary Grands Prix were specifically created for the 2020 calendar to allow venues to hold multiple races.[b]
The 2021 championship is due to introduce significant changes to the regulations, including the sport's governance and the sporting rules. Changes to the technical regulations were planned, but these were delayed in March 2020 in response to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These rule changes will instead be introduced in 2022.
The championship is due to introduce a budget cap, with teams limited to spending a maximum of $145 million per year.[c] Teams will be required to use more commercially available materials and to submit their annual expenditure. Some teams argued to further reduce the budget cap to $100 million, citing concerns that the long-term financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the future of as many as four teams. Formula One managing director Ross Brawn stated that the sport's intention is to reduce the budget cap further in the coming years.
The value of the budget cap is set for twenty-one races; each additional race increases the budget cap by $1 million, and vice versa: each race removed from the scheduled twenty-one race calendar deducts the budget cap by $1 million. However, the budget cap does not include marketing budget, driver's salary and the salaries of the team's top three executives. There will be additional restrictions put in place dictating how prize money can be spent. The cap will only apply to expenditure related to car performance, which will remain in place until 2026. In the event that a team breaks the financial regulations, the team can be penalised in a combination of three separate ways. For a procedural violation teams will be fined on a case-by-case basis. Teams can be given a range of punishments for exceeding their annual budget which include being deducted championship points, having reduced testing time, a race ban, or—for the most severe cases—disqualification from the championship.
The "Dual-Axis Steering" system developed by Mercedes in 2020 will be banned in 2021. The dual-axis system allowed the driver to adjust the toe of the front wheels to optimise mechanical grip by pulling or pushing on the steering wheel.
Teams will be required to allow a driver who has competed in less than two Grands Prix to replace one of their race drivers in a Friday practice session over the course of the season. Whilst these rules are intended to give a chance to more non-Formula One drivers to test a Formula One car, the wording of this rule means that teams satisfy the requirement if one of their regular drivers is in their rookie season.
Race weekend structureEdit
For the 2021 season the schedule of a race weekend is due to be revised. Under the pre-existing regulations a race weekend spans four days with the Thursday before the race being reserved for media and promotional events and scrutineering; however, under the new regulations all of Thursday's events will be moved to the Friday morning with the times between Friday's activities being reduced. Cars will be under parc fermé conditions following the end of free practice 3 instead of qualifying, further restricting teams and drivers making major changes to setups ahead of the race.
- The RP20 was originally designed and entered by Racing Point, who will rebrand as Aston Martin in 2021.
- Under FIA regulations, a host nation may only hold one Grand Prix. However, a loophole exists that allows a nation to host a second race under another name, such Germany hosting two races—the German and Luxembourg Grands Prix—in 1997 and 1998.
- Teams had originally agreed to a budget cap of $175 million per year, but this figure was revised to $145 million in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- McLaren were given permission to modify their car to accommodate the switch from Renault to Mercedes engines.
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