Last year, the Austrian Grand Prix took place ahead of the Styria Grand Prix. Why did this change in the Formula 1 season in 2021?
For the second time in a row Formula 1 this season, the Red Bull Ring hosted two races as opposed to the usual one, where the two races of the year were contested the last two Sundays.
Last year, the 10-turn, 4,618-kilometer roadway in Spielberg, Styria, Austria hosted the season opener and the second race of the season in July, after several races were either postponed or canceled due to COVID-19-related restrictions.
The Red Bull Ring was added to the schedule in 1970 and hosted the Austrian Grand Prix every year through 1987. It returned to the schedule for seven years from 1997 to 2003, and it returned again in 2014 and has been on the schedule ever since.
Over the last two years, the race that is not classified as the Austrian Grand Prix has been called the Styrian Grand Prix.
Last year, the Austrian Grand Prix came first. Valtteri Bottas opened the season with a win before Lewis Hamilton won the Styrian Grand Prix. But this year, the Styrian Grand Prix came first, with Max Verstappen leading each lap and winning the race before doing the same in the Austrian Grand Prix.
So why did these races change places on the 2021 schedule? The reason for this is actually quite simple: the Austrian Grand Prix, despite all the changes made to the schedule due to COVID-19-related restrictions in the last two seasons, has in fact, never been redesigned.
The race was on the original 2020 plan for Sunday, July 5th, and it was on the original 2021 plan for Sunday, July 4th.
Last year’s Styrian Grand Prix, which was a late addition to the calendar due to other cancellations of races, was put on the schedule on Sunday 12 July.
This year’s Grand Prix in Styria, which was again a late addition to the calendar, was put on the schedule on Sunday 27 June and not Sunday 11 July.
The next race on the 2021 Formula 1 schedule is British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, a track that also hosted a double-headed last year due to COVID-19-related schedule changes, but which is not intended to do so this year. This race is set to air live on ESPN, beginning at 1 p.m. 10:00 A Sunday, July 18th.