Formula One will make another effort to organise the Turkish Grand Prix this season after adding it to the calendar on Friday replacing Singapore’s cancelled race in October. The Singapore GP, which was scheduled in the first dew days of October, was cancelled this month because of immigration restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The race at the Istanbul Park circuit will take place in the week before the Japanese Grand Prix, which remains scheduled for Suzuka on Oct. 10.
Back in April, Istanbul was set to be the replacement for the cancelled Canadian GP in June. However, the plans were shelved after few weeks due to travel restrictions from England to Turkey, with most teams being based in Britain.
Turkey is still on the British government’s red list of countries that require ten days of hotel quarantine for returning travellers. Formula One could solve this problem and bypass the quarantine by staying in Japan for a little more time after the race. However, it is also important to realize that it is still unclear if Turkey will remain on that red list a few months down the line. The Turkish GP will come after the Tokyo Olympics, with some 100,000 people from all over the world assumed to enter Japan for that event. Formula One expressed confidence about managing the even after holding more discussions.
“After discussions with other promoters we are confident that we will be able to travel to the following race under our strict safety protocols.”
Formula One is following strict etiquettes, with teams in bubbles and testing for COVID-19 of all personnel and media. More than 44,000 tests have been carried out this year with only 27 positive cases. Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula One, insisted that the organisation is ready to adapt and organised the event in one of the best tracks in the world.
“We are delighted to be coming back to Turkey to Intercity Istanbul Park circuit. We hope to see another fantastic race again in one of the best tracks in the world. We have shown that we can continue to adapt and there is huge interest in our sport and the hope from many locations to have a Grand Prix.”
Formula One has done exceedingly well despite the Covid restrictions in holding their event in the classic worldwide format. With restrictions easing across the world, they should be hopeful of their job getting easier by the end of the year.