Singapore Grand Prix cancelled over Covid fears with second US race under consideration


The 2021 Singapore GP will no longer go ahead as planned though there are three potential races that could replace it

Charles Leclerc, 2019 Singapore GP

There will be no Singapore GP this year with the race cancelled for the second consecutive year

MOHD RASFAN/AFP via Getty Images

The 2021 Singapore Grand Prix has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving F1 with another gap in its previously record-breaking calendar to fill.

Rumours that the Marina Bay race would be called off had been circulating for several weeks, with doubts arising over the viability of staging the event amid the countries Covid-19 restrictions.

The race will not now take place, with the race organisers confirming that due to logistical difficulties, hosting the race would no longer be possible.

“We understand that our fans were looking forward to another edition of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix,” deputy chairman of Singapore GP Pte Ltd, Mr Colin Syn said in a statement.

“To cancel the event for a second year is an incredibly difficult decision, but a necessary one in light of the prevailing restrictions for live events in Singapore.

“We would not be able to deliver a full event experience fans have come to expect over the years, while safeguarding the health and safety of our fans, contractors, volunteers and staff. Ultimately, we have to be responsible, cautious and prudent as safety is our number one concern.”

An F1 spokesperson said ahead of the confirmation from race promoters that alternative plans were on the table: “We continue to work with all promoters during this fluid time and have plenty of options to adapt if needed.”

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Singapore is one of the strictest nations in terms of its response to the potential spread of alternate strains of coronavirus. The country remains on the UK green list for travel though that status is reviewable every three weeks.

Reports originating from the BBC suggest that F1 is currently exploring three alternatives. The Chinese Grand Prix, originally scheduled for April 11 as the second round of the ’21 season could make a return to the schedule.

An additional race at the Circuit of the Americas is also under consideration, with F1 set to arrive in the US in late October, three weeks after the original Singapore GP race date.

Turkey could also get a reprieve after it was picked as the replacement for the cancelled Canadian Grand Prix and then fell from the reformatted calendar, due to Covid-19 fears.

The continuing changes to the calendar could have a significant impact on the title battle. None of the potential replacements for the Singapore Grand Prix are likely to feature the high October temperatures of the city state, where Mercedes might have expected its cars to manage tyres better than the Red Bulls. Mark Hughes examines the implications further in this week’s MPH column.

The Singapore Grand Prix was originally scheduled to be the middle race in a triple header with the Russian and Japanese Grands Prix. It is unclear if the new race date would still form part of a triple-header.

It will be the second consecutive year Singapore hasn’t staged a round of the F1 World Championship following the cancellation of last year’s event.

Other non-European races set to be staged later this year are also under threat though currently there is no indication any more races are set to be dropped from the calendar imminently.