UK Red List changes throw more uncertainty over 2021 F1 schedule
The 2021 Formula 1 calendar faces more hurdles as three countries expected to host races are now on the UK’s red list.
With the Delta variant of Covid-19 causing spikes in cases around the world, more travel restrictions are being imposed in an attempt to limit the spread.
Turkey, Brazil and now Mexico face the UK’s toughest restrictions, with travelers from those countries having to quarantine themselves for 10 days at designated hotels upon return.
Accordingly, according to Auto Motor und Sport, the Oct. 3 race at Istanbul Park, which has already been canceled and rescheduled once this year, could be canceled to avoid interfering with planned travel to America in the coming weeks.
Indeed, Austin should now host two races while the Japanese Grand Prix should be canceled as early as Tuesday, with cases remaining high despite the recent Tokyo Olympics.
Australia’s recent cancellation means F1 could in theory continue with the Mexican and Brazilian GPs and then follow UK Red List guidelines.
But that would create a quadruple race header – which teams would likely block – before a three-week hiatus until an unspecified race, likely in the Middle East on November 28, forming a final triple header with Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
A single race in Qatar has already been rumored while Jeddah has also said it is open to two races on the new Corniche street circuit.
Given its relative locality, even Turkey could have a third chance to join the calendar if the October date is dropped.
At this point everything is speculative, but one thing is for sure, uncertainty over the Covid-19 situation remains high as F1 attempts to hold its first races outside of Europe, Eurasia and the United States. Middle East since November 2019.