TOKYO — This year’s Japanese Grand Prix was canceled following discussions between the government and race promoters, Formula One organizers said Wednesday.
The race in Suzuka had been scheduled for Oct. 10, between the events in Turkey and the United States.
“The decision has been taken by the Japanese government to cancel the race this season due to ongoing complexities of the pandemic in the country,” F1 said in a statement. “Formula 1 is now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks.”
The decision creates another dent in F1’s calendar of Asia-based races this season following the cancellation of the Australian and Singapore GPs and the indefinite postponement of the Chinese GP in Shanghai.
While we’re not racing in Japan this year…
We can’t wait to put on a show for the Japanese fans in 2022!
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 18, 2021
The cancellation and postponement of races last year at the start of the pandemic meant the 2020 season didn’t start until July, and was compressed to a 17-race schedule through December.
“Formula 1 has proven this year, and in 2020, that we can adapt and find solutions to the ongoing uncertainties and is excited by the level of interest from locations to host Formula 1 events this year and beyond,” F1 said in the statement.
Most of the series is being staged in Europe and the Middle East this season, with organizers initially planning 23 races. The Oct. 24 race will be at Circuit of the Americas, and the Austin, Texas, track has been reported as a candidate for replacing the Japanese GP with a second race this season.
Formula 1 Statement on the 2021 Japanese Grand Prix pic.twitter.com/KzhQxLTBzA
— F1 Media (@F1Media) August 18, 2021
The 11th race was held last weekend, when French driver Esteban Ocon won a chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
The Japanese government pushed ahead with the Tokyo Olympics, which were delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
New infections in Tokyo tripled during the 17 days of the Olympics, which finished on Aug. 8, although medical experts said the surge was not directly linked to the Games.