After being announced as a replacement for the Canadian stage a few weeks ago, the fate of the Turkish GP (scheduled for 13 June) was similar to that of the race in Montreal, and for the same reason: was canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. . To maintain the 23-race calendar for 2021, F1 has announced that Austria will again host two races, as it did in 2020.
The start of the F1 2020 Turkish GP – Photo: Salih Zeki Fazlioglu / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The cancellation was decided after UK authorities imposed a 14-day quarantine for travelers to Turkey, which has been facing new records of coronavirus cases and deaths since April; On 26th, the Turkish government announced a 17-day lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.
Since most of the teams are based in England and staff will have to isolate for a period of two weeks in a hotel after returning from Istanbul, it has become impossible to carry out the race as they will have to prepare for the GP next week. France.
- View the updated F1 2021 calendar
With the cancellation of the Turkish phase, French GP to be brought forward a week (from 27 to 20 June), and the Spielberg circuit starts getting double rounds, With the Styrian GP on 27 June and the Austrian GP on its original date, 4 July.
– We were looking forward to racing in Turkey, but local travel restrictions mean we won’t be able to be there. Formula 1 has shown again that it is capable of reacting quickly to incidents and finding solutions, and we are delighted that we will have a double round in Austria, which means our season remains with 23 races to go. I would like to thank the Turkish prosecutors and authorities for all their efforts, and the prosecutors of France and Austria for their speed, flexibility and enthusiasm in accommodating this solution – says Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the category.
Azerbaijan did not want to change the dates
The exchange of dates with the Azerbaijani GP, originally on 6 June, emerged as an option to avoid the cancellation of the stage in Istanbul, as well as to consider stopping mandatory isolation in the UK (in which cases Turkey was included in the exclusion list because having high covid in the country) would put the organization of the teams at risk.
The Azerbaijan GP organization denies changing the date with the stage in Turkey – Photo: Reuters
However, Baku circuit director Arif Rahimov rejected the move as the UEFA European Cup match between Wales and Switzerland was to be hosted at the Olympic Stadium in the capital on 12 June.
– Negotiations took place, but in our case our weekend is already fixed. We had to force it to fit into all the events happening in the city, as football still has to be played. The first game will take place on the Saturday after race weekend, June 12. So we can’t do much. If this was another year, when we were the only big event on the Baku calendar, well, that could be an option. But not now – Rahimov explained.