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Formula One chiefs consider starting 2021 season with two races in Bahrain

Formula One bosses are exploring the possibility of starting the new season with consecutive races in Bahrain.

Imola is set to host the next round on April 18, but with continued doubts over where the third race will be staged, F1 is considering a second grand prix in Bahrain.

It had been anticipated that Portugal’s Portimao circuit would be the venue for the third round on May 2, but the country has recently been added to the UK government’s “red list”, meaning those returning to England would be subjected to 10 days of hotel quarantine.

Six of the 10 teams are based in the UK and it is unclear if elite sport will be exempt from the government’s rules.

Bahrain staged two grands prix at the conclusion of last year’s Covid-disturbed campaign.

If Bahrain does host an extra round it is expected that the outer loop would again be used.

Despite the problems posed by the coronavirus pandemic, F1 chiefs remain hopeful of completing a record-breaking 23-round season. Testing for the new campaign takes place in Bahrain in the second week of March.