Start, Istanbul Park, 2020

F1 considering return to Turkey in place of Canadian Grand Prix

2021 F1 season

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Istanbul Park in Turkey could be added to the 2021 F1 calendar in place of the Canadian Grand Prix, which may have to be cancelled again due to the pandemic.

While recent media reports in Canada claiming the race has already been called off are understood to be premature, F1 is making preparations to abandon its trip to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the second year in a row.

Canada has experienced a ‘third wave’ of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks. The number of infections rose to 8,616 per day over the past week, and the increasing spread of new variants of the virus is a particular concern.

The home race for Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi was due to take place on June 13th, one week after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. If it cannot go ahead, F1 is planning to replace it with another race closer to the teams’ bases in Europe.

A meeting of the F1 Commission today will discuss plans to relocate the seventh round of the championship to Istanbul Park. The Turkish venue featured on the F1 calendar between 2005 and 2011, and returned last year when the schedule was reorganised due to the pandemic.

Germany’s Nurburgring, another 11th-hour addition to last year’s calendar, is also under consideration as an alternative to the Montreal round. However Turkey’s circuit is believed to have offered the championship better financial terms.

The commission will discuss other subjects including plans for Sprint Qualifying sessions at three races this year, increasing the number of formal testing opportunities for junior drivers, addressing potential loopholes in the Financial Regulations which were introduced this year and the potential introduction of a salary cap.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 27 comments on “F1 considering return to Turkey in place of Canadian Grand Prix”

    1. Old news. Istanbul Park has been reported quite widely elsewhere before.
      Nurburgring, I found out, isn’t an option because of the 24H event the weekend before.

    2. I don’t think anyone was that optimistic about actually completing the proposed schedule without there being some alterations. Montreal is a fantastic circuit, and much loved, but it’s easy to see why authorities in Canada don’t want 800 recently well-travelled people turning up to race cars.

      Looking at Miami, and recent additions (Sochi etc), I don’t mind us visiting these more ‘old fashioned’ venues like Turkey or Imola or Nurburgring, this might be the last chance to see these type of venues in F1. I say we just enjoy them this year whilst we have them, we might not get another opportunity to.

      1. Its actually more like 2000-2200 people @bernasaurus. But yeah, I really agree with your comment.

    3. F1 will most likely be Europe + Middle East + Far East championship this year.

      1. Would seem so. A return to Turkey? I’m all for it.

        I said here some weeks ago Canada wouldn’t happen. Think the same about Brazil and Mexico too.

    4. Be prepared for more of these. Even Europe has some countries where a third wave is causing problems.

      1. Even Europe has some countries where a third wave is causing problems

        Really, which countries? My source says European all-cause deaths are under control

        https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps

        A quick search of Our World In Data on specifically covid doesn’t reveal anything either.

        Vaccine & naturally acquired immunity is doing wonders for the UK. Finally some tangible evidence for the defence of Brexit, hopefully not the last.

        1. Not a fan of discussing politics on sports forums, but have to correct you there – brexit played no part in the UK’s handling of the pandemic. Every decision the UK took, it was able to do so regardless of it’s position in or out of the EU.

          1. @oweng I voted ‘remain’ and was convinced it was the pragmatic thing to do, but we are out now, so it’s good to see something positive coming from it.

            If there is a country that at the beginning of the pandemic was an EU member and broke with the ‘group vaccine buy’ proposal and did as well as the UK, then your argument holds water. I’m not aware of any who went it alone, to do so may incur the wrath of Brussels down the road in other negotiations. It would have been, in the words of Sir Humphrey, ‘very brave Prime Minister’.

            1. I don’t think there are any EU countries that have gone alone entirely, but there were reports a few months ago of Germany buying its own vaccine stocks independently of the EU buying system.

    5. Not the worst idea, I got the impression that many F1 drivers last year were disappointed in not doing turn 8 flat out. As long as there were some support races to help rubber in the circuit I could see this being a good race to have.

      1. @chimaera2003 Support races aren’t as necessary next time since the track is already more rubbered than in November + the climatic conditions should be more favorable, so overall, a better experience awaits.

      2. It’s a boring Tilkedrome. What could be worse? They better go to Mugello. It’s an interesting circuit. And it fits better logistically.

    6. In central Florida anyone over 18 can get a vaccine. I went online, scheduled and got it free within 18 hours. For anyone under 60 this puts COVID risks near any seasonal flu. Why would vaccinated F1 going to Canada be risky? Can’t Europe and Canada get vaccinated?

      1. @warren2185 Not everyone in F1 has received vaccination yet, nor in Europe.
        Canada merely seems unwilling to let many travelling people into the country.

      2. Tommy Scragend
        26th April 2021, 13:55

        Because Florida and Canada are different places?

      3. The vaccines require multiple injections over multiple months, plus people who are vaccinated can still contact spread the disease.

      4. Canada does not produce any COVID vaccines. The USA has kept all the vaccines it has produced (ie hundreds of millions of doses).
        That it why in Canada, vaccines are still reserved for people over 50 for the most part.

      5. No, we don’t have enough vaccine in Canada to vaccinate everyone. Not everyone is awash in shots like the US and UK.

    7. After last year’s race I don’t think you’ll see many fan complaints about this news.

    8. As a Canadian, I would rather there be a race in Turkey this year than Montreal. It’s sad, but true.

    9. It is more money not covid concerns that is affecting the Canadian GP! F1 asked the organizers for another 6 million over and above the 25 plus million already throwin by the taxpayers of Canada, Quebec and Montreal to hold the race without fans. So health and safety aren’t the issues, as is always the case with F1 it’s the money that determines where races happen.

      1. I’m with Kurt on this one …. definitely.
        The virus issue is a handy excuse for the various levels of government, local (tourism boards), city, provincial and National, to dodge the financial bullet.
        Payment for the GP has been an issue for a number of years and will no doubt, be raised every time the contract is up for renewal. The fans, the drivers and the F1 Circus may all promote the event, but someone has to pay for it.

        1. Kurt Laguna @rekibsn I disagree. Trudeau is throwing billions around with his latest budget/election platform, and there is no way the 6 mill is a deal breaker for him imho of course. The way the COVID variants are taking over and overwhelming our hospitals I don’t see how you can claim this is not about health and safety. ‘Handy excuse?’ Gimme a break. And this coming from someone who was convinced a few weeks ago things would be under control enough by June that the race would be a go. I no longer think that, and it certainly isn’t about 6 mill. Trudeau would consider that a no-brainer use of our tax dollars to make appearances like he has COVID under control to the point of having some ‘normalcy’ like an F1 race. Having it cancelled two years straight does not reflect well on his response to the pandemic, but the way it is going here in Canada I think it is out of his control and beyond him being able to justify the race. Of course he may well claim it is about the 6 mill and his responsibility to the taxpayer, (while using our money in the billions to pander for votes at he same time), rather than blame his ineptness with the pandemic response on the race cancellation.

          1. It should be noted that although Trudeau hasn’t done a great job in dealing with the pandemic, his government has done better than many others internationally (US and UK for example), and I thank our lucky stars here in Canada that the conservatives weren’t in power nationally when it hit, as they would probably still be denying that the virus even exists.

            1. @ferrox-glideh Lol possible about the Conservatives, and while I agree he, and we Canadians, did a good job in minimizing the numbers of cases, and deaths per 100 citizens for example, in spite of the recent uptick with variants, it has been the supply and administering of the vaccines that has been the problem. Just saw a stat yesterday that in terms of people getting both shots at this point we are at 2.6% of the population nationally so far, which puts us 74th among countries globally.

              So yeah, dealing with the pandemic initially, not a bad job, but since vaccines have been available? Not so much.

    10. I’ll be sad to see no Canadian GP this season, but another race at Istanbul isn’t a bad thing. Hopefully it’s as crazy as the last one!

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