F1 Set to Remove Turkish Grand Prix From the 2021 Racing Calendar

Published 05/12/2021, 5:46 AM EDT
FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race and the world championship Pool via REUTERS/Clive Mason/Pool/File Photo


The much-feared COVID-19 is starting to meddle with F1, yet again, after the sport enjoying a peaceful couple of months. It all started with Montreal opting out of the racing calendar after Canada announced a nationwide lockdown and closing down the borders.

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And the only replacement F1 had was the Turkish Grand Prix, which managed to deliver quite a dramatic race last season. Hence, within days after the Canada disappointment, confirmation arrived that Istanbul Park would be taking over Montreal’s spot, hosting the Grand Prix between June 11 and 13.

However, now, there could be another bad news for the fans. Reports have claimed that Formula 1 will be canceling the Turkish Grand Prix as well, leaving a void over the weekend. Reason?

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Well, the United Kingdom recently placed Turkey under the ‘red list‘. And since most of the F1 teams are headquartered in and around the UK, this announcement will restrict a large amount of F1 crews from stepping into the nation after the race weekend in the Middle-East country, at least without quarantining.

Hence, this might affect the plans and functionality of the teams like Aston Martin, McLaren, Haas, Williams, and others. Consequently, this may have forced F1 to remove Turkey from the calendar. And the official announcement could arrive anytime soon.

Moreover, this isn’t the only sports event that could be making its way out of Turkey. The Champions League final could also be moved out of Turkey, with the UK most likely hosting it.

Will F1 replace Turkey?

As things stand, Formula 1 is allegedly looking to cancel the weekend altogether, therefore, putting an end to the thoughts of replacement. This decision is quite reasonable considering the time crunch that the sport is facing.

With less than a month from the race, it could be a herculean task for the sport to arrange a different Grand Prix, keeping in mind the COVID-19 norms of each and every country.

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There is also a rumor that F1 might reschedule the Azerbaijan Grand Prix into the weekend initially allotted for Turkey.

However, the concern is that there is a wide array of uncertainty over when the UK will be lifting the travel ban over Turkey. Hence, F1 will be hesitant to shuffle the race calendar at the last moment.

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This ultimately leaves F1 with one difficult choice – removing Turkey from this season, and bringing the number of races down to 22, which will halt the record for the largest F1 season calendar.

 

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Rohit Kumar

1174 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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