Japanese F1 GP cancelled due to rising COVID cases

Formula 1 has announced that the Japanese Grand Prix has been cancelled at the request of the government due to ongoing COVID-19 issues.

Japanese F1 GP cancelled due to rising COVID cases

The race was due to take place on 10 October, as the third leg of a triple header after Russia and Turkey.

A decision on whether or not the race would go ahead was expected in August after all parties were able to review how the Olympic Games unfolded in Tokyo.

No further updates have been given on possible changes to the 2021 F1 calendar, which is understood to be very flexible at this stage, with various permutations under consideration.

However, F1 has options to keep up the numbers and will provide further news in the coming weeks.

An F1 statement said: “Following ongoing discussions with the promoter and authorities in Japan the decision has been taken by the Japanese government to cancel the race this season due to ongoing complexities of the pandemic in the country.

“Formula 1 is now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks. Formula 1 has proven this year, and in 2020, that we can adapt and find solutions to the ongoing uncertainties and is excited by the level of interest from locations to host Formula 1 events this year and beyond.”

Honda also issued a statement expressing its disappointment that the Japanese Grand Prix would not feature in its final season with Red Bull before departing ahead of the 2022 season.

"As Honda, we are particularly disappointed, because this is the final year of our Formula 1 project and we know that so many fans were looking forward to attending the event.

Track overview

Track overview

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

"The 2021 season is now heading for an exciting climax and we will be giving our all, fighting hard all the way to achieve our goal of winning the championships as this Honda Formula 1 project comes to an end and we hope our fans will continue to support us."

Qatar is one of the new events on standby, while a second race in Bahrain is also a possibility, and if they join Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi that would mean four events being run in the Middle East in the last part of season.

One of the big issues is that Turkey, Mexico and Brazil are all currently on the UK red list, and anyone returning within 10 days of being in one of those countries faces a 10-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

At the moment F1 does not have an exemption, and thus around 1000 UK-based team, F1, FIA, Pirelli, Honda and media staff members would be impacted by the rule.

The plan was the trip to Japan would take up a week of the 10-day window after Turkey, and that personnel would remain there for a few extra days before returning to the UK.

It’s understood it should not be assumed that Turkey is now in trouble without the buffer of the Japanese GP, so presumably efforts are underway either to re-jig the calendar so that another race falls after Turkey.

F1 hopes to run two races in Austin, with the second under the Texas GP name.

Although the USA is not a red zone for the UK matters have been complicated the city becoming a COVID hot spot, with hospitals reported to be full.

The Suzuka cancellation comes despite F1 promising to impose special conditions on all personnel travelling to Japan, including compulsory use of charter flights from Istanbul with testing on arrival, travel only between hotels and the circuits with no restaurants or shopping, security in each hotel to ensure that people could not leave, and eating only at the circuit in the evenings.

shares
comments

Related video

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion
Previous article

The F1 dilemma facing Mercedes' new world champion

Next article

Alpine F1 team "blown away" by Alonso's race craft

Alpine F1 team "blown away" by Alonso's race craft
Load comments
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle Plus

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

Formula 1
Oct 26, 2021
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021