Turkish Grand Prix to replace cancelled Singapore race in October

Formula One bosses have announced that Turkey will fill the void left by the Singapore Grand Prix on October 3.

The night race in Singapore was cancelled earlier this month following a series of Covid-19 travel restrictions in place in the city state.

Turkey’s Istanbul Park – despite itself being axed earlier this year after the country was placed on the Government’s red list – is now set to take its place.

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It is understood F1 chiefs expect Turkey to be moved to the amber list by October, meaning staff returning to the UK will not be forced to isolate in a hotel for 10 days.

The Turkish GP is also pencilled in a week before the scheduled Japanese Grand Prix on October 10, with most members of the travelling circus due to go straight there, rather than head back to the UK after Istanbul.

However, Suzuka chiefs are keen to see how this summer’s Tokyo Olympics play out before they take a firm decision on their race.

Lewis Hamilton secured his seventh world title at last November’s Turkish GP.

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“We are delighted to be coming back to Turkey to Intercity Istanbul Park circuit,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicalli.

“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.

“We have had very good conversations with all the other promoters since the start of the year and continue to work closely with them during this period.”

Lewis Hamilton secured his seventh world title at last November's Turkish GP
Lewis Hamilton secured his seventh world title at last November’s Turkish GP (PA)

F1 is hopeful of completing its record-breaking 23-race calendar but a number of fixtures in the second half of the year are in doubt.

The Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix – on October 31 and November 7 respectively – are vulnerable given that both countries are recording among the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world.

Promoters of both events are keen for their respective races to go ahead but Brazil is on the Government’s red list, posing a serious problem for F1 given that the majority of teams are based in England.

The United Arab Emirates is also on the red list, with Abu Dhabi due to host the final round on December 12.

The Australian Grand Prix, the sport’s traditional curtain-raiser in Melbourne, has been moved to November, but the country is demanding that F1 staff must be vaccinated before they are allowed into the country.