Formula One has announced that the 2021 Japanese Grand Prix scheduled for 8-10 October 2021 has been cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
The race was set to return after an one-season absence due to logistical issues prevented the race from being held in 2020 at Suzuka Circuit, with F1 citing ‘ongoing complexities’ as behind this year’s cancellation.
F1 organisers have released the following statement: “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.”
This decision comes after a rise in cases across Japan despite Tokyo hosting this summer’s Olympics Games without spectators present at all events, which will again be the case for the Paralympics.
F1 bosses have also confirmed that they are “now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks.”
Confirmation of Japan’s cancellation now mean that Turkey is also at risk of being dropped in the coming weeks, due to the country still sitting in UK’s red travel list, which requires hotel isolation upon return from the country unless exemption is granted by UK Government.
Plans were mooted for a USA double-header at Circuit of the Americas, Texas, to replace the Japanese GP but Texas is now experiencing an increase in Coronavirus cases, which means that option is now thought to be unfeasible.
Brazilian GP bosses have also reportedly requested a date change of one week from 5-7 November to 12-14 November, in order to maximise their chances of getting the pandemic under control and hosting a full capacity.
F1 also are thought to be in talks over a Middle East stretch to finish the season with a return to Bahrain’s outer-layout circuit on the cards, alongside a maiden visit to Qatar’s Losail Circuit and a double-headed debut of Saudi Arabian Grand Prix which is set to make its F1 bow in early December.
The sport’s organisers however has pointed to F1’s ability to “adapt and find solutions to the ongoing uncertainties” whilst feeling excited about increased interest from various locations in hosting F1 races this year and in the future too.
This announcement also means that Honda won’t have a final home race before they depart F1 at end of season.