F1 2021: Turkish GP replaced by extra Austrian race

The Turkish Grand Prix has been replaced on this year’s Formula 1 calendar – less than three weeks after being added – by an extra event at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

The Istanbul Park Circuit returned to the schedule for the first time since 2011 last season as one of several last-minute venues added due to pandemic-related travel restrictions.

The event was left off the initial 2021 calendar, but in late April it was named as a replacement for the cancelled Canadian Grand Prix, due to run on 13 June.

Following that announcement, several countries – including the UK – have placed travel restrictions on Turkey, due to the Covid-19 situation in the country. It’s on the UK government’s red list, which requires anybody arriving in the UK from the country to quarantine in a hotel.

With the bulk of F1 teams based in Britain, that could have led to staff having to either quarantine or stay on the road for an extended period.

F1 bosses will look to reschedule Turkey for later in the season. A similar approach has been taken with the Chinese Grand Prix.

To ensure the calendar reaches 23 planned races, F1 bosses have now added a second event at the Red Bull Ring, with the Styrian Grand Prix running on 27 June before the Austrian Grand Prix on 4 July. This will be the second year in the row that the Red Bull Ring has staged a double-header of events.

To accommodate that move, the French Grand Prix will shift a week earlier to 20 June.

Meanwhile, F1 bosses are hopeful that fans will be able to return to some European races in the coming months. The upcoming Monaco Grand Prix on 23 May will be held with a 40%-capacity crowd.

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