Following the cancellation of the Singapore Grand Prix, Formula 1 confirms Istanbul Park as the new home for round 16 of the 2021 championship.
Early in June, the organizers of the Singapore race, scheduled to take place early in October, announced the event cancellation for the second year in a row due to concerns regarding the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Alternatives to replace the Asian venue soon emerged, suggesting Turkey as a suitable location for the race.
On Friday, the series issued an official statement announcing the return of the Turkish Grand Prix to the 2021 calendar.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, commented: “We are delighted to be coming back to Turkey to Intercity Istanbul Park circuit. We hope to see another fantastic race again on one of the best tracks in the world.”
Adding: “We want to thank the Intercity Istanbul Park management and Mr. Vural Ak for his personal efforts to make this event to happen. 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.”
Initially, the race on Turkish soil entered a revised 2021 F1 calendar to replace the Canadian Grand Prix on June 13.
Nonetheless, travel restrictions and a new surge of cases in the country led to the removal of the venue in Turkey, allowing the introduction of a France-Styria-Austria triple-header in the European summer.
However, the statement released by the FIA shed light on Istanbul remaining on stand-by for the season.
“The promoter [Intercity] has requested that we look at the potential opportunity for the race to be rescheduled later in the season if possible, alongside China, who made the same request earlier this year.”
The opportunity presented itself as the race at Marina Bay Street Circuit was ruled out of the 2021 schedule due to Covid-19 safety and logistic concerns.
The Turkish Grand Prix rejoins the Formula One calendar, which spans a record of 23 races, at the circuit designed by architect Hermann Tilke, encompassing 5.338 km (3.317 miles).
A statement from F1 reads: “After discussions with other promoters, we are confident that we will be able to travel to the following race under our strict safety protocols.”
Nine years would go by for the series to return to Turkey, where the 14th round of the 2020 season took place on November 15.
The track underwent several changes to meet the FIA safety standards, resulting in a three-year Grade 1 license.
The event was hosted without spectators due to the Covid- 19 outbreak, under challenging wet conditions, but nothing could prevent Lewis Hamilton from conquering his seventh world championship.
After the race, the British champion stated: “There should be more races like Turkey on the calendar. I want more weekends like this.
“There needs to be more challenging conditions; this creates more opportunities.
“I had the chance to show everyone what kind of driver I am. I won the race, not the car.”
The 2021 Turkish Grand Prix takes place between 1-3 October.