I CANNOT tell you how many F1 fans have wanted Turkey to stay on the F1 calendar. I must admit, I was, among many other people in the F1 world, disappointed when Turkey wasn’t initially on the 2021 F1 calendar. But now, we’re finally going to get a 2021 Turkish Grand Prix!
This news is, however, some news of mixed emotion. It’s sad to hear that we won’t race in Canada this year. Because of COVID-19, we couldn’t race in Canada last year. And because of the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for people entering Canada, F1 cannot race in Montreal in 2021 as well. There has been a lot of speculation for this news in the past month, and the confirmation has come that we won’t race in Canada this year.
The Canadian Grand Prix has been home to some incredibly memorable and iconic moments. The race entered F1 in 1967, and has raced in 3 different circuits over the years. Most of the years were spent racing at the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve. Aside from 2020 and 2021, 1975, 1987 and 2009 were the only years not to see a race in Canada. An incredibly memorable moment is the controversial incident at the most recent race in 2019.
Many fans in Canada and around the world were waiting for the 2021 Canadian Grand Prix. Since we didn’t race in Canada in 2020, we’ve been waiting to see the cars back on track, speeding through the chicanes at the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve. Now, F1 will either refund all purchased 2020 and 2021 tickets or transfer them to the 2022 race.
The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is a street circuit, meaning it is much more difficult to set up. Also, the race circuit is on a small island in the Saint Lawrence River. This is a very small area, and it would be difficult to maintain COVID procedures and try and contain an outbreak of the virus with so many people in such a small area.
Let’s talk about the Turkish GP. The 2020 Turkish Grand Prix was a race that was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. For the first time in 9 years, F1 returned to Turkey. F1 returned to a track and to a race that the F1 world had loved for many years. The 2020 Turkish GP was unforgettable, especially because, among MANY other things, Hamilton won his 7th World Title. There were so many memorable moments! With weather changes, came driver errors and more exciting strategies. There were many on-track battles, many sudden changes, and a sprint to the line for 2nd and 3rd.
Check out our Race Review to learn all about what fans voted to be the best race of 2020.
As I mentioned earlier, the fact that we’re getting a race in Turkey in 2021 is a dream come true for many people in the F1 community. Instead of the Canadian Grand Prix. The 2021 Turkish Grand Prix will take place on the weekend from June 11 to June 13. Turkey will now be the only non-European race between Round 2 and Round 15 instead of Canada. As it always has, the iconic Intercity Istanbul Park will be the circuit hosting the event.
Many compare Istanbul Park with Belgium’s Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, so you know it’s up there. Istanbul Park was designed by Hermann Tilke, one of if not the most renowned Formula 1 circuit designers. Out of all the wonderful tracks he has designed, many feel Istanbul Park is the best. The track’s nature is such that the races are very exciting and interesting, as mentioned earlier.
Like Imola, Istanbul Park is one of the very few circuits that run anti-clockwise. But the main reason that Istanbul Park is famous is the long, high-speed left-hander of Turn 8. The driver didn’t struggle in this corner in 2020, but they might in 2021. Things like the 2021 F1 Regulation Changes will make Turn 8 a much more challenging corner again. This is another sign that the Regulation Changes have made F1 closer and more exciting.
Statements from Formula 1 About The 2021 Turkish Grand Prix
“Due to the ongoing international travel restrictions in place in Canada it became impossible for Formula 1 to enter the country without a mandatory 14 day quarantine,” says the main statement from Formula 1.
“We are grateful for the efforts of the promoter and the authorities in Canada, Quebec and Montreal in the past few weeks. We’re grateful for the efforts to try and make the race happen. We are pleased to announce a two-year extension to our partnership with the Canadian Grand Prix,” read a statement by Formula 1. The Canadian Grand Prix contract has extended from 2029 to 2031.
“While it is disappointing we cannot be in Canada this season we are excited to confirm that Turkey will host a Grand Prix in 2021. There was an absolutely amazing race in Turkey last season,” said Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1. “I know all our fans are excited by the dramatic start to the season and Turkey is a great circuit that delivers great battles on the track.
“We will work with the promoter to ensure those with tickets from 2020 & 2021 races get the options of a refund or to transfer their tickets to next year’s race and look forward to racing in Canada in 2022.”
“And I want to thank the promoter and authorities in Canada for all of their efforts in recent weeks. But the travel situation made our plans impossible. I equally want to thank the promoter and authorities in Turkey for their ongoing willingness to host a Formula 1 race that shows the huge interest in our sport and the hope from many locations to have a Grand Prix.
“We have had very good conversations will all the other promoters since the start of the year. And we continue to work closely with them during this period.”
We’re very excited to see how the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix will play out. It’s pretty unlikely that the race will be as incredibly iconic as the 2020 race was, but it’s still going to be an unmissable race! Hopefully, the COVID procedures that F1 has in place can sustain for even longer, and hopefully, Turkey can host the race safely. This is the end of this post; stay safe, stay on the lookout for new posts, and enjoy F1ntastic!