No comfort in Formula 1 when it comes to timing on Covid-19. The Turkish Grand Prix has emerged as an alternative to the Canadian Grand Prix, but now it’s also flirting with the risk of cancellation or at least postponement. The reason: a new wave of infections in the Eurasian country.
The third wave of Covid-19 in Turkey was the cause of the problem. The country reached a peak of 60,000 new infections per day in mid-April, according to data from the Data Our World website. The numbers have been in free fall since then, but the British government has classified Turkey as a red zone, requiring ten days of quarantine for anyone making the trip. This is a problem for F1, with seven teams based in the UK: there will be no time to meet isolation and compete in the French Grand Prix. One race is scheduled to take place on June 13th and the other on 27th of the same month.
F1 is already thinking outside the box to find solutions. According to the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, the class has asked the British government to make an exception in the case of the Turkish Grand Prix, as it has already managed on more than one occasion in 2020. Only, according to such a post, there will be no bona fide. This time.
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The solution becomes changing the dates. The idea of Formula 1’s momentum is the heart of racing in Turkey and Azerbaijan: the race in Istanbul Park will run until June 6, with Baku until June 13.
The possibility of excluding Turkey from the calendar and including another calendar in its place is not entirely excluded, but this is unlikely. Also according to Auto Motor und Sport, solutions like back-to-back GPs on the same racetrack are not high on the priority list.
The 2021 Turkish Grand Prix will be only the second in Istanbul Park in the past decade. The racetrack lost space on the calendar in 2011 and only returned in 2020, precisely in the context of races and races canceled in Europe almost exclusively.
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