Formula 1 has announced that Turkey will replace Canada on the calendar for this season, with the chairman of the Istanbul circuit operator hoping to welcome fans for the event in June.
F1 said the ongoing international travel restrictions in place in Canada have made it “impossible” for the series to enter the country without a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
It will mark the second consecutive year that the Canadian Grand Prix has not gone ahead but F1 has signed a two-year extension to continue racing in Montreal until 2031. F1 will work with the race promoter to ensure fans with tickets from the 2020 and 2021 races get the options of a refund or to transfer their tickets to the 2022 event.
The Turkish Grand Prix will take place from June 11-13. F1 returned to Turkey last year for the first time since 2011 and the series will once again head to the Istanbul Park circuit.
Stefano Domenicali, president and chief executive of F1, 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.
“I want to thank the promoter and authorities in Canada for all of their efforts in recent weeks but the travel situation made our plans impossible. I equally want to thank the promoter and authorities in Turkey for their ongoing willingness to host a Formula 1 race that shows the huge interest in our sport and the hope from many locations to have a grand prix. We have had very good conversations with all the other promoters since the start of the year and continue to work closely with them during this period.”
Vural Ak, chairman of Intercity, which operates Istanbul Park, is hoping that domestic and overseas fans will be able to attend the Turkish Grand Prix.
“We have one of the most exciting circuits in the world, we really want our people and our foreign guests to be part of this excitement as well,” Ak said, according to the Reuters news agency.
“Thanks to the pandemic measures and efforts our state has carried out, we plan to put tickets on sale as soon as possible.”
F1 did not stage any races in the Americas last season after confirming that it would “not be possible” to race in Brazil, USA, Mexico or Canada due to the pandemic. USA, Mexico and Brazil will return to the calendar this year but the pandemic has claimed the Canadian Grand Prix for a second year in a row.
The 23-race F1 season got underway in Bahrain on March 28 and the series will head to Portugal this weekend for its third event of the year. F1 confirmed its season calendar in January, with races in Australia and China having been postponed until later in the year.
This season will see Saudi Arabia stage its first-ever F1 race, with the circuit having been unveiled last month. The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will take place on December 5, with the race set to mark the country’s biggest ever sporting event.
F1 recently signed a 10-year deal to stage a grand prix in Miami from 2022, with the track to incorporate Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. Miami will become the second US city on the F1 calendar alongside Austin.