F1 confirms Japanese Grand Prix cancellation due to COVID spike

Formula 1 has confirmed that the Japanese Grand Prix has been cancelled at the request of the government, due to ongoing COVID-19 issues.

The race was due to take place on October 10, as the third leg of a triple header after Russia and Turkey.

A decision on whether or not the race would go ahead was expected in August after all parties were able to review how the Olympic Games unfolded in Tokyo.

No further updates have been given on possible changes to the 2021 F1 calendar, which is understood to be very flexible at this stage, with various permutations under consideration.

An F1 statement said: “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.

“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 from locations to host Formula 1 events this year and beyond.”

Qatar is one of the new events on standby, while a second race in Bahrain is also a possibility, and if they join Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi that would mean four events being run in the Middle East in the last part of season.

One of the big issues is that Turkey, Mexico and Brazil are all currently on the UK red list, and anyone returning from one of those countries faces a 10-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

At the moment F1 does not have an exemption, and thus around 1000 UK-based team, F1, FIA, Pirelli, Honda and media staff members would be impacted by the rule.

The plan was that the trip to Japan would take up a week of the 10-day window after Turkey, and that personnel would remain there for a few extra days before returning to the UK.

It’s understood that it should not assumed that Turkey is now in trouble without the buffer of the Japanese GP, so presumably efforts are underway either to re-jig the calendar so that another race falls after Turkey.

F1 hopes to run two races in Austin, with the second under the Texas GP name. Although the USA is not a red zone for the UK, matters have been complicated due to the city becoming a COVID hot spot, with hospitals reported to be full.

The Suzuka cancellation comes despite F1 promising to impose special conditions on all personnel travelling to Japan, including compulsory use of charter flights from Istanbul with testing on arrival, travel only between hotels and the circuits with no restaurants or shopping, security in each hotel to ensure that people could not leave, and eating only at the circuit in the evenings.

shares
comments

Related video

The American ‘Drive to Survive’ teens who are targeting F1

Previous article

The American ‘Drive to Survive’ teens who are targeting F1

Next article

Sainz needs to put a complete weekend together - Binotto

Sainz needs to put a complete weekend together - Binotto
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021