F1: Japanese Grand Prix called off due to COVID-19 pandemic
- The decision has been taken by the Japanese government, F1 said in a statement
- Formula 1 is now working on the details of the revised calendar, the statement added
- This put another dent in F1's calendar of Asia-based races this season
Japanese Grand Prix 2021 was on Wednesday cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Formula One organisers said. This decision was taken after a meeting between the government and race promoters. The race in Suzuka had been scheduled for October 10, between the events in Turkey and the United States.
“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," F1 said in a statement.
“Formula 1 is now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks,” the statement further added.
This put another dent in F1's calendar of Asia-based races this season following the cancellation of the Australian and Singapore GPs and the indefinite postponement of the Chinese GP in Shanghai.
The cancellation and postponement of races last year at the start of the pandemic meant the 2020 season didn’t start until July, and was compressed to a 17-race schedule through December.
“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,” F1 further added in their official statement.
After the oragnisers initially planned 23 races, most of the series is being staged in Europe and the Middle East this season.
The 11th race was held last weekend when French driver Esteban Ocon won a chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
Earlier, the Japanese government went ahead with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It was delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
During the 17 days of the Summer Games, Tokyo saw new infections being recorded at a higher rate. Although, the Japanese health experts maintained that the surge was directly linked to the Tokyo Games.
(With inputs from Associated Press)