After being announced a few weeks ago as an alternative to the Canadian stage, the Turkish race (scheduled for June 13) had the same fate as the race in Montreal, and for the same reason: it was canceled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to maintain the 23-race calendar for 2021, F1 has announced that Austria will host two races again, as it was in 2020.
Start of the 2020 F1 Turkish Grand Prix – Photo: Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The cancellation was decided after UK authorities established a 14-day quarantine for travelers from Turkey, which faces new record numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths since April; On the 26th, the Turkish government announced a 17-day lockdown to try to contain the spread of the virus.
Since most of the teams are based in England and staff will have to isolate for two weeks in a hotel after returning from Istanbul, it has become impossible to hold the race, as the following week they will have to prepare for the race from France.
- Check out our updated F1 2021 calendar
With the cancellation of the Turkish stage, The French Grand Prix will be presented for a week (27-20 June), the Spielberg circuit begins to receive a double round, With the Styria Grand Prix on June 27 and the Austrian race on its original date, July 4.
– We were looking forward to racing in Turkey, but local travel restrictions mean we won’t be able to be there. Formula 1 has once again shown that it can respond quickly to events and find solutions, and we are pleased that we will have a double round in Austria, which means that our season still has 23 races. I would like to thank the Turkish prosecutors and authorities for all their efforts, and the prosecutors in France and Austria for their speed, flexibility and enthusiasm in accommodating this solution – says Class CEO Stefano Domenicali.
Azerbaijan did not want to change the dates
The exchange of dates with the Azerbaijani GP, originally on June 6, emerged as an option to avoid canceling the stage in Istanbul, while also considering preventing mandatory isolation in the UK (which included Turkey on the exclusion list due to the rise in Covid cases in the country) that would risk organizing teams .
The Greater Azerbaijan Organization denied changing the dates with the theater in Turkey – Photo: Reuters
However, Baku Circuit manager Arif Rahimov rejected the move due to the capital’s hosting on June 12 of the UEFA European Cup match between Wales and Switzerland at the Olympic Stadium.
– There were talks, but in our case, our weekend is already fixed. We had to force it to fit in with all the events happening in the city, because football was still going to be played. The first game will be on June 12, the Saturday following the race weekend. So there is not much we can do. If it was another year, when we were the only big event on Baku’s calendar, well, that might be an option. But not now – Rahimov explained.
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