The much-awaited Singapore Grand Prix 2021 has been called off in light of the ongoing safety and logistic concerns due to Covid-19 pandemic. The race on the famous Marina Bay Street circuit, which was scheduled to take place on October 1-3 has now been removed from the calendar. Reflecting on the decision to considering the prevailing restrictions for live events in the country, Colin Syn, the deputy chairman of Singapore GP said, “We would not be able to deliver a full event experience fans have come to expect over the years while safeguarding the health and safety of our fans, contractors, volunteers and staff. Ultimately, we have to be responsible, cautious and prudent as safety is our number one concern.” With the race cancelled, let us have a look at potential replacements for Singapore GP in the F1 calendar this year.
The Turkish Grand Prix was added to F1 calendar earlier this season as a replacement for Canadian GP. However, the race which was scheduled to take place on June 13 had to be called off because of the travel restrictions in the country. Stefano Domenicali, Formula One chief executive had said, “We were all looking forward to racing in Turkey but the travel restrictions in place have meant we are not able to be there in June.” However, Turkish Grand Prix officials had requested F1 to assess if there is any possibility to stage a race later this year once restrictions are lifted. With the race still four months away, it could be a perfect opportunity for Turkey to get the spot as replacement for Singapore.
With Austria hosting two races back-to-back, there is also a possibility that USA might do the same. However, it would require a few shuffling of the dates. If the Japanese GP currently scheduled to take place on October 10 can be preponed by a week, there could be a room to conduct a double header in USA. A second race at Austin could be organized on October 17, just one week before the already-confirmed USA GP on October 24. Two consecutive weekends of racing at the beautiful Circuit of the Americas would certainly provide a brilliant spectacle for the F1 fans across the globe.
Another option could be to move back to Chinese Grand Prix, which was originally due to take place in April this year before it was cancelled. In announcing the revised calendar, the F1 Chief Executive had earlier said, “We are continuing to work with our Chinese colleagues to find a solution to race there in 2021 if something changes.” With the race still four months away, F1 might give the nod to China with a few alterations in the schedule considering the logistics. Japan could take the race on October 3 in place of Singapore GP, China hosting on October 10 before the action shifts to USA on October 24.