Japanese GP cancellation confirmed by F1


Formula 1 has confirmed the cancellation of the 2021 Japanese Grand Prix, providing a potential headache if it wants to replace the race

Suzuka track map hat

Japanese fans will have to wait at least another year for a grand prix

Florent Gooden / DPPI

Formula 1 Management has confirmed the cancellation of this year’s Japanese Grand Prix due to “ongoing complexities” cited by organisers in relation to Covid-19.

As last year’s Grand Prix was also cancelled, F1 has not held a race in Japan since 2019 when Valtteri Bottas won. This year’s Japanese event was slated to be part of an October triple header, following the September 26 Russian GP and the rescheduled Turkish race on October 3.

Suzuka‘s cancellation provides F1 with a potential organisational headache in regards to Covid regulations if it wants to replace it with another race. Had it gone ahead, F1 teams – seven of which are British – would have headed straight to Japan from Turkey, with no quarantine required.

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However, Turkey is still on the UK government’s red list. Returning F1 personnel would have to isolate for ten days in Britain. The most obvious location to hold a replacement race is COTA, for an extra American event on October 17. However, UK isolation would end on October 13, giving teams just four days before the race itself – unless they went straight to the US after Turkey.

“Following ongoing discussions with the promoter and authorities in Japan the decision has been taken by the Japanese government to cancel the race this season due to ongoing complexities of the pandemic in the country,” a statement from Formula 1 read.

“Formula 1 is now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks.

“Formula 1 has proven this year, and in 2020, that we can adapt and find solutions to the ongoing uncertainties and is excited by the level of interest in locations to host Formula 1 events this year and beyond.”