Turkish GP dropped, second Austrian race added as F1 keeps 23-race season

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Formula 1 will now have two races in Austria for the second straight year, as the Turkish Grand Prix was called off on Friday.

A race at Istanbul Park was only announced a few weeks ago as the replacement for the Canadian GP, but travel restrictions imposed on Turkey by countries, including the UK, due to Covid-19 have made next month's date unfeasible.

As a result, F1 has shuffled its dates with the French GP brought forward by a week to June 18-20 before the Styrian and Austrian GP's follow on June 25-27 and July 2-4 respectively.

Fans travelling for the race at Paul Ricard have been reassured the earlier date does not impact the validity of their tickets, while there was no word on if spectators will be allowed at the Red Bull Ring.

“Formula 1 has shown again that it is able to react quickly to developments and find solutions and we are delighted that we will have a doubleheader in Austria meaning our season remains at 23 races," CEO Stefano Domenicali commented.

“I want to thank the promoter and authorities in Turkey for all of their efforts in recent weeks and want to thank the promoters in France and Austria for their speed, flexibility and enthusiasm in accommodating this solution.

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

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These latest changes are unlikely to be the last, with F1 confirming Turkey and also China are options to fill in dates later in 2021.

And Domenicali is keen to get answers soon on the flyaway races planned from September-December, as he looks to ensure the championship will be the record 23 Grands Prix.

“We will try to understand in the next few days if there is the possibility to have an exemption to handle the calendar as it is scheduled,” he told Sky Italy last weekend.

“If this does not happen, we will have some options to discuss based on our will to keep the calendar with the same number of races, because we don’t want to lose this season that it is going great.

"In the next two weeks, we have to decide, even earlier.

“The goal is to understand this week what will be the direction. The goal is to keep the calendar with the number of races scheduled.

“Then for sure, we have to deal with a situation that changes every day. The goal is to make sure the championship goes on, keeping the cadence we planned.”