The FIA and Formula 1 released an update on the 2021 calendar, introducing a France-Styria-Austria triple-header in the European summer; the Turkish Grand Prix got canceled due to travel restrictions.
According to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), there will now be two races in Austria, back to back, with the first race, the Styrian Grand Prix, taking place on 25th-27th June and the Austrian Grand Prix, taking place on its original date on 2nd-4th July.
As a result, the French Grand Prix - Le Castellet (seventh round of the 2021 season), held at the Circuit Paul Ricard, moves a week earlier from its previous schedule to 18-20 June.
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.”
Dominicalli further commented: “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.”
The Turkish Grand Prix returned to the FIA Formula One World Championship calendar in 2020 after a nine-year hiatus.
Last month, the series announced that the Turkish Grand Prix would replace the 2021 Formula 1 Canadian GP, canceled for a second consecutive season due to COVID-19 restrictions in the North American country.
“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,” Domenicali remarked last April.
However, the recent international travel restrictions imposed by several countries resulted in an updated calendar.
As the FIA statement reads: “The promoter has requested that we look at the potential opportunity for the race to be rescheduled later in the season if possible, alongside China who made the same request earlier this year.”
The races in Mexico and Brazil (rounds 19 and 20, respectively) are at risk due to the surge of coronavirus cases.
And in case one or both are canceled, a gap for Turkey or China could eventually open in the racing schedule.
The FIA also outlines, “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.”