Turkish Grand Prix postponed in favour of Austrian double-header amid COVID-19
F1 organisers have today confirmed a number of changes to the 2021 calendar in line with the ongoing global pandemic and the travel restrictions that remain in place.
Drivers and teams will now not be able to travel to Turkey given the current government enforced restrictions in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.
According to officials, “Following discussions with the promoter in Turkey and relevant stakeholders, it will not be possible to have the race in Turkey between 11th – 13th June.”
In line with this announcement, organisers have been tasked with rescheduling the Turkish Grand Prix for later in the season, a request also put to F1 by China.
Among the early changes revealed is a double header in Austria beginning with the first race, the Styrian Grand Prix, taking place on 25th-27th June followed by the Austrian Grand Prix taking place on its original date of 2nd – 4th July.
As a result of this change the French Grand Prix will now take place one week earlier between 18th – 20th June.
These changes ensure that there continues to be 23 planned races for the 2021 season.
A statement released today read; “We are grateful to the Turkish promoter for their support in recent days and the recognition that the current travel situation made the race in June impossible.
“We are equally grateful to the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region and French Grand Prix promoter for their flexibility, and the Austrian promoter for their enthusiasm to host a second race at short notice following the huge success of the two races in Austria in 2020.
“The current COVID-19 situation remains fluid and we will continue to monitor the situation with the promoters and teams, but Formula 1 has again shown it is able to deal with these challenges and adapt swiftly to reduce the impact on the season.
“We are also delighted that we are beginning to see fans returning to our races with up to 40% capacity in Monaco next weekend.”
Speaking about the updates to the 2021 calendar, Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said:
“We were all looking forward to racing in Turkey but the travel restrictions in place have meant we are not able to be there in June.
“Formula 1 has shown again that it is able to react quickly to developments and find solutions and we are delighted that we will have a double header in Austria meaning our season remains at 23 races.
“I want to thank the promoter and authorities in Turkey for all of their efforts in recent weeks and want to thank the promoters in France and Austria for their speed, flexibility and enthusiasm in accommodating this solution.
“We have had very good conversations will all the other promoters since the start of the year and continue to work closely with them during this period.”