Having enduring a turbulent 2020 season, Formula 1’s organisers and teams would surely be hoping for an easier season in 2021. However, the coronavirus pandemic continues to be omnipresent, casting a shadow of doubt over the first few races on the F1 calendar.

Scheduled for May 23 of this year, the Monaco Grand Prix will be the first of three races on temporary circuits, all of which require lead time to prepare and are therefore vulnerable to costly cancellations. Alfa Romeo’s Sauber F1 team manager, Beat Zehnder, expressed his doubts that the Riviera race would go ahead in an interview with Auto, Motor und Sport.

“I don’t see us racing on temporary circuits in the first half, even though Monaco has assured us that they want to host the race.” Said Zehnder, after explaining that the slow rollout of vaccines worldwide could compound on the already existing challenges that face the event’s organising body, the Automobile Club de Monaco.

On January 18, the ACM took to twitter to address “rumours circulating on certain websites and social media,” regarding the Monaco GP taking place.

The ACM have big plans for 2021, as they plan to run three events. The Historic Grand Prix and the Monaco E-Prix are set to take place before and after the Monaco GP.

Race organisers learned a lesson from the 2020 Australian GP’s last minute cancellation, and this year’s edition has already been moved from its regular March date to November. However, the Formula 1 organisation has denied that any further changes to the calendar are to be imminently expected. An F1 spokesperson commented that “The suggestion street races will not take place (is) completely wrong.”

Featured image courtesy of @alfaromeoracing on Twitter, Alfa Romeo’s Sauber F1 team manager Beat Zehnder