UK red list changes throw more uncertainty over 2021 F1 calendar

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Formula 1's 2021 calendar is facing more hurdles as three countries set to host races are now on the UK red list.

With the Delta variant of Covid-19 causing spikes in cases around the world, more travel restrictions are being imposed to try and limit the spread.

Turkey, Brazil and now Mexico face the harshest restrictions from the UK, with travellers from those countries required to quarantine for 10 days in designated hotels upon their return.

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As a result, according to Auto Motor und Sport, the October 3 race at Istanbul Park, which has already been cancelled and rescheduled once this year, could be called off to avoid interfering with the planned trip to America in the following weeks.

Indeed, Austin is now expected to host two races as the Japanese Grand Prix is set to be cancelled as early as Tuesday, with cases remaining high despite the recent Olympics in Tokyo.

Australia's recent cancellation means F1 could in theory still go ahead with the Mexican and Brazilian GP's and then follow the UK's red list guidelines.

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But doing so would create a quadruple-header of races - which teams would likely block - before a three-week break until an unspecified race, likely in the Middle East on November 28, forming a final triple-header with Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

A one-off race in Qatar has already been rumoured while Jeddah has also said it's open to two races on the new Corniche street circuit.

Given its relative locality, even Turkey might get a third chance to join the calendar if the October date is dropped.

At this point that is all hypothetical, but one thing is for sure is the uncertainty over the Covid-19 situation remains high as F1 tries to host its first races outside of Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East since November 2019.