Canadian F1 Grand Prix cancelled and replaced by Turkish GP in Istanbul

The Canadian Grand Prix has been officially cancelled for the 2021 season. Formula One formally announced the decision on Wednesday and confirmed it will be replaced on the calendar over the weekend of 12-13 June by the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul.

In an official statement said F1 said: “We are grateful for the efforts of the promoter and the authorities in Canada in the past few weeks to try and make the race happen and we are pleased to announce a two-year extension to our partnership with the Canadian Grand Prix.

“We will work with the promoter to ensure those with tickets from [the] 2020 and 2021 races get the options of a refund or to transfer their tickets to next year’s race and look forward to racing in Canada in 2022.”

The race in Montreal has been expected to be called off for some time. Radio Canada had reported that concern over public health risks because of Covid-19, the country’s strict 14-day quarantine rules for entry and the potential financial implications of holding the meeting behind closed doors had made the race untenable for 2021.

The 2020 race was also cancelled and the promoters and F1 remained in discussion for some time in an attempt to see if the meeting could be held this year. The Canadian GP was planned to take place the week immediately after the Azerbaijan GP and personnel would be unable to attend both and meet the quarantine criteria, so the F1 paddock will head to Istanbul from Baku instead.

It is understood F1’s chief executive, Stefan Domenicali, had written to the Canadian government requesting quarantine exemptions, similar to those employed to ensure the Abu Dhabi GP went ahead last year. However, the plans were not considered practical and the promoters and F1 have now concluded the meeting cannot go ahead.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a semi-permanent track so considerable preparation work is needed to make it ready, requiring a decision was made sooner rather than later in the hope of any improvement in the Covid-19 status in Canada.

Turkey had been on standby to step in to replace the race as it is well placed on the freight route from Azerbaijan and proved last year that it could successfully host a grand prix at short notice. Lewis Hamilton, who won the race and claimed his seventh title in Turkey, leads Max Verstappen by one point with the next round scheduled for this weekend in Portugal.