Kurt Verlin
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Japanese Grand Prix is Officially Out for 2021

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2012 Japanese Grand Prix
Photo: Michael Elleray via CC

The country that just hosted the biggest sporting event in the world amid a state of emergency has just announced the 2021 Japanese Grand Prix will not be taking place this October due to “ongoing complexities of the pandemic.”

The Japanese Grand Prix was set to be the 17th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. It would have taken place on Oct. 10 at the Suzuka International Racing Course, one of the most popular circuits among the drivers.

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Even more than the drivers, this has disappointed Honda in particular as the engine manufacturer is leaving the sport at the end of the year now unable to compete at its home race for the second year in a row.

The Japanese Grand Prix was set to be the third event in a triple header following the Russian Grand Prix on Sept. 26 and the Singapore Grand Prix on Oct. 3. However, Formula 1 will look to replace the race rather than give the teams more time to rest after Singapore.

“Formula 1 is now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks,” F1 released in a statement. Earlier in the year, F1 already managed to replace the Canadian Grand Prix with a second race in Austria.

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There are a number of eligible circuits that could host a race on Oct. 10 but it’s critical that it doesn’t introduce new problems. Because the majority of F1 personnel is based in the U.K., it practically excludes those nations included on its travel red list, such as Turkey, Brazil, and Mexico.

A more likely solution for F1 would be a second race in Bahrain, which already hosted the season opener in March, or Saudi Arabia, which is currently scheduled to host its first-ever F1 race in early December. Austin is also an option but it’s more likely to fill in the canceled Australian Grand Prix.