The 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, which was originally not on the calendar, then added back to replace the canceled Canadian Grand Prix, then deleted due to COVID travel restrictions, is now back on again to replace the canceled Singapore Grand Prix in October, Formula 1 has confirmed.
The reason Turkey was initially dismissed as a replacement for Canada was the country’s inclusion on the U.K.’s “red list,” requiring returning travelers to quarantine for 10 days. The Turkish Grand Prix would have been held on June 13, but the nature of the F1 calendar this month would have required teams to massively adjust their itineraries to return to home base in the U.K. to be able to then make the French Grand Prix.
This shouldn’t be a problem closer to the end of the season, as the Turkish race, set for October 3, will happen just a week before the Japanese Grand Prix, planned for October 10.
By then, it’s possible Turkey could be removed from the red list, though the Japanese Grand Prix’s continued inclusion on the calendar has loomed in doubt. MotoGP recently canceled the race it was supposed to hold on October 3 at Twin Ring Motegi. Evidently, F1 has more faith it’ll be able to keep its Suzuka event on the schedule.
Istanbul Park is a well-liked circuit on the F1 calendar, and one that had been absent for nine years until it returned last season. Lewis Hamilton clinched his seventh world championship at that very slippery race. The Singapore Grand Prix typically rivals Abu Dhabi’s as F1's most flashy and simultaneously boring event, so Turkey should prove something of an upgrade. Of course, not where human rights are concerned, though F1 isn’t too concerned about that at the moment. As usual, it’s quite the opposite.