Japanese Grand Prix cancelled due to rise in Covid-19 cases

The 2021 Japanese Grand Prix has been cancelled after race organisers cited “ongoing complexities” related to the Covid-19 pandemic, said Formula 1 on Wednesday.

The race, which was also cancelled last year because of the pandemic, was due to be held on October 8-10 at the Suzuka circuit.

“Following ongoing discussions with the promoter and authorities in Japan, 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,” read a statement from Formula 1.

“Formula 1 is now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks. 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 in locations to host Formula 1 events this year and beyond,” said Formula 1 further in a release.

The cancellation is a blow to Honda Racing F1 team. The team will be deprived of a home race in its final season of Formula 1.

“It is unfortunate that, for a second consecutive year, it has not been possible to hold the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix at Suzuka. As Honda, we are particularly disappointed, because this is the final year of our Formula 1 project and we know that so many fans were looking forward to attending the event,” said Koji Watanabe, Chief Officer Brand and Communication Operations at Honda in a press release.

“The 2021 season is now heading for an exciting climax and we will be giving our all, fighting hard all the way to achieve our goal of winning the championships as this Honda Formula 1 project comes to an end and we hope our fans will continue to support us. Lastly, as the title sponsor of the event, we would like to thank MOBILITYLAND and Formula 1 for working so hard right up to the very last moment, to try and stage the Grand Prix,” concluded Watanabe.

The Formula 1 season continues with the Belgian Grand Prix on August 29. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes holds an eight-point lead over Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the driver standings.