Norris, Tsunoda, Alonso & Other F1 Drivers React to Unfortunate Japanese GP Cancellation

Published 08/20/2021, 6:26 AM EDT
SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 13: Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and France during the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on October 13, 2019 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)


Amid rising speculations, F1 officially called off the much-awaited Japanese GP. which was scheduled for October 10, the very next weekend after the Turkish Grand Prix.

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It is definitely heart-wrenching news for the entire fandom, as Suzuka is one of the fewest circuits on the calendar that has the flavour of a typical F1 circuit, with multiple gravel traps and constant elevations, and dynamic weather to keep an eye at.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has been striking havoc all over Japan over the past few months. Now, with the situation at its absolute peak, the host had to cancel the event to prevent the outbreak from worsening.

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Hence, as the news broke out, several F1 drivers showcased their disappointment through social media.

How the F1 drivers reacted to Japanese GP cancellation

Tsunoda, Giovinazzi, & Ocon

F1 announced the news through social media, and Yuki Tsunoda soon commented on the post on Instagram. He wrote, “See you Sushi…

Meanwhile, Antonio Giovinazzi and Esteban Ocon reacted with sad emojis.

Lando Norris

Norris shared the F1 post on his story with a heartfelt message for the Japanese fans, who will be missing out on the action for yet another year.

Nooooo! One of the best of the year, gonna miss seeing the incredible and passionate Japanese fans there 🙁 But of course, this is for a good reason, keeping everyone safe. So, to my Japanese fans, keep well and I look forward to seeing you all next year,” he said.

Fernando Alonso

The Spaniard reckoned it was a shame to miss out on such a race for the second time in a row. Moreover, having raced for McLaren Honda, Alonso has embraced the hero’s welcome at Suzuka.

Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Francois Nel

That is of course a shame. Because I love Japan and the Suzuka race track. Every pilot was looking forward to this runway. But it’s about the well-being of the people. I assume that the second half of the season will change a lot as far as our program is concerned,” he said according to Speed Week.

Sergio Perez

Perez was one of the fewest drivers to show his disappointment through a tweet. The Mexican was all set to compete for Honda in Japan for the first time in his career. However, the pandemic denied the Red Bull driver of such an eye-watering opportunity.

Ohhh it’s a shame  I really was hoping to race for Honda Racing their home. I really wanted to experience that. I feel sorry for the passionate Japanese fans, but we all understand that is time to take care of each other,” Perez wrote.

Carlos Sainz

Along with Perez, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, too, was gutted with the cancelation of the Japanese Grand Prix. He further reckoned that Suzuka is one of his favorite circuits in F1.

Sad to hear the Japanese GP has been canceled. One of my favorite circuits of the season. A very special country and incredible fans! We will miss you a lot,” Sainz tweeted.

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Can F1 replace the Japanese GP?

On a normal occasion, replacing Suzuka with a different Grand Prix wouldn’t have been hard. However, Japan marks the end of the tour around Asia, as F1 then shifts to the United States. Also, the Japanese Grand Prix was scheduled only a week away from the race at the COTA.

Hence, F1 will have limited options to choose from, as several European countries have also started to impose restrictions. This could leave the sport with minimal options to choose from. As of now, the initially suggested double-header in Austin or in Turkey is almost impractical.

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Hence, with barely any options left in hand, it will be quite interesting to see how F1 plans to replace the vacant October 10 slot in the calendar.

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Rohit Kumar

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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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