Formula 1 will race at Istanbul Park in 2021, with Turkish Grand Prix organisers having signed a contract to replace the cancelled Canadian Grand Prix.
It has been confirmed that the Turkish Grand Prix will appear on the Formula 1 calendar for a second consecutive year, following news that the 2021 Canadian Grand Prix has been cancelled. The race, which will take place at Istanbul Park is due to be held on June 11-13. In a statement Formula 1 CEO said:
“While it is disappointing we cannot be in Canada this season we are excited to confirm that Turkey will host a Grand Prix in 2021 after an amazing race last season. I know all our fans are excited by the dramatic start to the season and Turkey is a great circuit that delivers great battles on the track.”
Last year, Turkey returned to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 2011 as the sport looked to bolster its coronavirus-hit calendar. The race weekend proved to be one of the best of the season, with drivers struggling for grip on the freshly resurfaced track.
Rain before qualifying led to a jumbled order on the starting grid, with Lance Stroll securing his maiden pole position. In the race, Lewis Hamilton took an impressive victory from sixth on the grid. The win ensured Hamilton would take the 2020 Drivers’ Championship, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of seven titles.
It has not yet been announced whether fans will be permitted to attend the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix. Last year, promoters had planned for up to 100,000 to be in attendance over the race weekend. 40,000 tickets sold within hours of them being released. However, plans for fans to attend were thwarted by a rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Following reports from Canadian media earlier in the month, it has now been officially confirmed that the 2021 Canadian Grand Prix has been cancelled.
This year’s running of the event proved to be an impossibility given the current 14-day quarantine rules for visitors arriving in the country. There were further financial concerns over running the weekend without fans in attendance. The decision has been taken now due to the nature of semi-permanent Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with preparations for the race weekend due to go ahead weeks before the race itself.
The Montreal race is the second race to fall off the 2021 F1 calendar as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Chinese Grand Prix – originally scheduled to take place in April – was indefinitely postponed back in January. It was replaced by the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which was held at Imola on April 18. Meanwhile, the Australian Grand Prix, which was due to be the opening race of the 2021 season, was postponed to late November.
This is the second year in succession that the Canadian Grand Prix has been cancelled. Some fans are still awaiting refunds from their ticket purchases for the 2020 race weekend. In more positive news, Formula 1 has announced a two-year contract extension for Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The circuit is now contracted to host the Canadian Grand Prix until at least 2031.
2021 marks the first time since the Ile Notre Dame circuit joined the calendar in 1978 that the race has not been held in two successive years. The event has been a mainstay on the F1 calendar since 1975, with 1987, 2009 and 2020 the only seasons in which it has not been held.