2021 Formula One World Championship

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2021 FIA Formula One
World Championship
Previous: 2020 Next: 2022
Support series:
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.[1] Each team is expected to enter two drivers.[2]

Constructor Chassis[3] Power unit No. Driver name Ref.
Italy AlphaTauri-Honda AT01 Honda TBA TBA [4]
Aston Martin-TBA RP20[a] TBA 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez [5][6]
Italy Ferrari SF1000 Ferrari 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc [7]
United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes MCL35 Mercedes 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris [8][9]
Austria Red Bull Racing-Honda RB16 Honda 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen [4][10]
France Renault R.S.20 Renault 31 France Esteban Ocon [11]
United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes FW43 Mercedes 63 United Kingdom George Russell [12][13]

Team changes[edit]

McLaren announced that they would change from using Renault power units to ones built by Mercedes.[8] 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.[14]

List of planned races[edit]

The following seventeen Grands Prix are under contract to be held as part of the 2021 World Championship:

Grand Prix Circuit Ref.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi [15]
Australian Grand Prix Australia Albert Park Circuit, Melbourne [16]
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit, Baku [17]
Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir [18]
Belgian Grand Prix Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot [19]
British Grand Prix United Kingdom Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone [20]
Canadian Grand Prix Canada Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montréal [21]
Dutch Grand Prix Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort [22]
French Grand Prix France Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet [23]
Hungarian Grand Prix Hungary Hungaroring, Mogyoród [24]
Italian Grand Prix Italy Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza [25]
Japanese Grand Prix Japan Suzuka International Racing Course, Suzuka [18]
Mexico City Grand Prix Mexico Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City [26]
Russian Grand Prix Russia Sochi Autodrom, Sochi [27]
Singapore Grand Prix Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore [28]
United States Grand Prix United States Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas [29]
Vietnamese Grand Prix Vietnam Hanoi Street Circuit, Hanoi [30]

The following five races are under contract to run in 2020, but not for 2021:

Grand Prix Circuit Ref.
Austrian Grand Prix Austria Red Bull Ring, Spielberg [31]
Brazilian Grand Prix Brazil Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo [32]
Chinese Grand Prix China Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai [33]
Monaco Grand Prix Monaco Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo [34]
Spanish Grand Prix Spain Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona [35]

Calendar expansion and changes[edit]

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.[36] The sporting regulations were amended to allow for a maximum of twenty-five Grands Prix per year.[37]

Further changes to the calendar are planned following the disruption to the 2020 championship brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Australian Grand Prix is due to return to the calendar,[16] as the 2020 race was cancelled because of the pandemic.[40]

Regulation changes[edit]

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.[41] These rule changes will instead be introduced in 2022.[3]

Financial regulation[edit]

The championship is due to introduce a budget cap, with teams limited to spending a maximum of $175 million per year, with teams being required to use more commercially available materials and teams must submit their annual expenditure.[42] The value 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.[43] 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.[44] The cap will only apply to expenditure related to car performance, which will remain in place until 2026.[43] 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.[43]

Technical regulations[edit]

Teams will enter the cars they used in the 2020 championship.[3][b] This requirement was introduced to ease financial pressures on teams brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Banned devices[edit]

The "Dual-Axis Steering" system developed by Mercedes in 2020 will be banned in 2021.[46] 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.

Sporting regulations[edit]

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.[47][48]

Race weekend structure[edit]

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.[49] 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.


  1. ^ The RP20 was originally designed and entered by Racing Point who announced their intention to compete as Aston Martin in 2021.
  2. ^ McLaren were given permission to modify their car to accommodate the switch from Renault to Mercedes engines.[45]


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