Formula 1 has brought ANOTHER change to the 2021 F1 calendar! And this time, it’s not as great news. F1 has cancelled the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix because of travel restrictions. Many of the countries in which F1 teams are based have put in new travel restrictions. These travel restrictions affect travel from Turkey. That means it will be increasingly difficult for teams and their members to return to their headquarters and homes after the Turkish GP. Because of these travel restrictions, Formula 1 has cancelled the Turkish Grand Prix. So the Turkish GP will no longer take place over the weekend of June 11 – 13. In fact, that weekend is completely free now.
It’s quite sad to see the Turkish GP go. We were so excited to see F1 in Turkey in 2021 after the fantastic race at Turkey in 2020! The F1 world jumped with joy when the Canadian GP was replaced with the Turkish GP. Although I will be honest, the Canadian GP is always incredibly exciting and fun to watch. After the 2nd change to that same weekend slot, F1 decided to leave that weekend slot completely. And to prevent any further changes to the calendar, F1 has decided to hold 2 races in Austria.
As we did in 2020, we’re going to have a Styrian GP along with the Austrian GP. The only difference between last year’s Austria double-header is that the Styrian GP was after the Austrian GP. And also, the 2020 double-header was the first 2 races of the season. The French GP is now a week earlier than it previously was so that there is room for the 2nd race at Austria in the race calendar.
“Following discussions with the promoter in Turkey and relevant stakeholders, it will not be possible to have the race in Turkey between 11th – 13th June. The promoter has requested that we look at the potential opportunity for the race to be rescheduled later in the season if possible, alongside China who made the same request earlier this year,” said the official statement from Formula 1. There’s still some hope that we might get a Turkish GP if a race gets cancelled later on in the year. The same goes for the Chinese GP.
“We can confirm that there will now be two races in Austria,” continued the statement, “back to back, with the first race, the Styrian Grand Prix, taking place on 25th-27th June and the Austrian Grand Prix taking place on its original date on 2nd – 4th July. As a result of this change, the French Grand Prix will move one week earlier to 18th – 20th June, with all tickets for the event valid for the earlier date. This means that there continues to be 23 planned races for the 2021 season.
“We are grateful to the Turkish promoter for their support in recent days and the recognition that the current travel situation made the race in June impossible. We are equally grateful to the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region and French Grand Prix promoter for their flexibility, and the Austrian promoter for their enthusiasm to host a second race at short notice following the huge success of the two races in Austria in 2020.”
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: “We were all looking forward to racing in Turkey but the travel restrictions in place have meant we are not able to be there in June. Formula 1 has shown again that it is able to react quickly to developments and find solutions and we are delighted that we will have a double header in Austria meaning our season remains at 23 races.
“I want to thank the promoter and authorities in Turkey for all of their efforts in recent weeks and want to thank the promoters in France and Austria for their speed, flexibility and enthusiasm in accommodating this solution. We have had very good conversations will all the other promoters since the start of the year and continue to work closely with them during this period.”
Formula 1 will continue to follow their tried-and-tested COVID procedures. F1 has been able to maintain a 0.1% positive case rate, which shows that they’re doing a good job at carrying out races safely. I think F1 has come up with a good, more permanent solution for the issue with the Turkish GP being cancelled. This news is half good and half bad. It’s good because the double-header at Austrian proved to be a treat last year. The Red Bull Ring, which is the circuit in Austria, is great for overtaking and is known for giving us exciting races.
The news is a bit sad because we lose a race that we’ve very much been looking forward to. We REALLY were very happy to find out we were getting a Turkish GP. Another bit of sad news is that Romain Grosjean won’t be testing the Mercedes W10 at the French Grand Prix weekend. Since F1 preponed the French GP by a week, the F1 race clashes with the IndyCar Rev Group Grand Prix. Since Grosjean is currently racing in IndyCar, he won’t be able to drive the demo laps on the Sunday of the French GP. However, he will still get a full day of private testing with Mercedes, so that he can close off his F1 career on his own terms.
Are you happy about this decision that Formula 1 has made? Do you think that this revised calendar is less susceptible to unexpected changes? Let us know in the comments below! Stay safe, stay on the lookout for new posts, and enjoy F1ntastic!