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Formula 1 Updates 2021 Race Calendar To Avoid Turkey’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, just outside Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, May 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)

BEVERLY HILLS, May 14, (THEWILL) – The most prestigious motor competition in the world, the Formula 1, has had to update its 2021 race calendar as new COVID-19 travel restrictions, which have come into force recently, mean the June 11-13 race in Turkey can no longer be competed in.

As a consequence, that weekend of the annual racing calendar will remain free but the French Grand Prix will be moved upwards by a week earlier than originally planned. The French race will now take place from June 18-20 while a second race in Austria, the Styrian Grand Prix, will be added to the calendar for a June 25-27 competition.

The updated schedule means the 2021 season will now have a new France-Styria-Austria triple header, with the Austrian Grand Prix staying in its original July 2-4 place. All tickets to the French Grand Prix are valid for the earlier date with the change making no difference for ticket-holders.

One guarantee of the update is that the calendar keeps its 23-race format planned for the 2021 season.

In a statement about the change, 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.

“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.”

Domenicali said that Turkey had requested that for a rescheduling of the race in Istanbul to a later point in the season if possible, in much the same way as China requested earlier in the season.

He thanked the French Grand Prix promoter for their flexibility, and the Austrian promoter for agreeing, on such short notice, to host a second race after the success of the two races in Austria last year.

So far this season, the Formula 1 community has travelled with stringent safety measures in place. They have conducted 17,000 tests with 15 positive cases at a rate of 0.1%.