Canadian GP cancelled for the second year due to COVID-19 concerns, to be replaced by Turkey

In counterpart for the 2020 and 2021 cancellations, F1 has announced a two-year extension with the race

By Yuri Coghe
@yuricoghe
It’ll be only the fourth time since 1978 that the Canadian Prix in Montreal doesn’t take place (Photo: F1GrandPrixduCanada/Twitter)

The Canadian Grand Prix has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to COVID-19 concerns after weeks of rumours, F1 has confirmed on Wednesday. Turkey will replace the seventh slot of the calendar, taking over the June 11 to 13 weekend.

The series mentioned the ongoing travel restrictions in Canada as the reason behind the decision. There wouldn’t be enough time for the 14-day quarantine to be respected, for instance, since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku is scheduled for just a week before, on June 6.

In counterpart for the 2020 and 2021 cancellations, F1 has announced a two-year extension with the Canadian Grand Prix. The race will now remain part of the calendar until 2031.

“We are grateful for the efforts of the promoter and the authorities in Canada, Quebec and Montreal in the past few weeks to try and make the race happen,” F1 said in a statement.

“We will work with the promoter to ensure those with tickets from 2020 & 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 organizers held a press conference with Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec’s economy minister, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and François Dumontier, the race’s promoter on Wednesday.

“By September or October, most Canadians will be vaccinated,” said Dumontier looking ahead to the 2022 edition of the race. “If we can start working at that moment, we’ll be in good shape,” Dumontier said. “I hope that we’ll get to work soon, and we’ll have a normal Grand Prix (next year), with just as many people, if not more.”

Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi posted a video to social media reacting to the news. “Obviously, it’s extremely disappointing for me. It’s (been) two years as a Formula 1 driver and my home race has been cancelled (in these two seasons), but I know the Canadian government and the promoters of the race have been working very hard to try to put the race on. But unfortunately, it was not possible due to the COVID-19 situation,” he said.

Turkey, where Lewis Hamilton clinched his seventh world championship last year, is back to the F1 calendar again for 2021. The race was also added in 2020 after an eleven-year absence as a handful of events got cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

“I want to thank the promoter and authorities in Canada for all of their efforts in recent weeks but the travel situation made our plans impossible,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali in a statement.

“I equally want to thank the promoter and authorities in Turkey for their ongoing willingness to host a Formula 1 race that shows the huge interest in our sport and the hope from many locations to have a Grand Prix. I know all our fans are excited by the dramatic start to the season.”

A regular in the F1 calendar, the Canadian Grand Prix takes place in Montreal since 1978. It hasn’t been held only in 1987 and 2009 before the 2020 and 2021 cancellations.

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