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Covid-19 forces Canadian GP to be moved … to Turkey

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The Canadian Formula One Grand Prix, scheduled for June in Montreal, has been shelved due to the coronavirus pandemic and instead the race will be held in Turkey, officials said on Wednesday.

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“Due to the health measures put in place to fight Covid-19, the Canadian Grand Prix has been canceled for a second consecutive year,” Canadian authorities said in a statement. 

“The event will return next year, however,” and a deal has been reached between organisers and the governments of Canada and Quebec to extend its run by two years until 2031.

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Formula One authorities confirmed in a short statement that because of the ongoing international travel restrictions in place in Canada, it had become impossible for anyone associated with the race to enter the country without a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

In its place this year, added Formula One, the Turkish Grand Prix will be held June 11-13.

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“I want to thank the promoter and authorities in Canada for all of their efforts in recent weeks but the travel situation made our plans impossible,” said Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula One, in a statement

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“I equally want to thank the promoter and authorities in Turkey for their ongoing willingness to host a Formula One race.”

The decision ends several weeks of uncertainty as to whether the Formula One paddock with its hundreds of staff flying in from overseas would be able to set up for the race.

Discussions had been underway between the authorities of Quebec and Canada on the possibility of organising the event behind closed doors or lifting the mandatory quarantine for visitors.

The Turkish GP, which will be held at Istanbul Park, featured in the 2020 calendar when Lewis Hamilton was crowned world champion for a record-equalling seventh time, having been a regular from 2005 to 2011.

The record 23-race 2021 Formula One Grand Prix calendar, after the Canadian Grand Prix was moved to Turkey on Wednesday:

March 28: Bahrain (Sakhir) – won by Lewis Hamilton

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April 18: Emilia Romagna (Imola) – won by Max Verstappen

May 2: Portugal (Portimao)

May 9: Spain (Barcelona)

May 23: Monaco

June 6: Azerbaijan (Baku)

June 13: Turkey (Istanbul)

June 27: France (Le Castellet)

July 4: Austria (Spielberg)

July 18: Britain (Silverstone)

August 1: Hungary (Budapest)

August 29: Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)

September 5: Netherlands (Zandvoort)

September 12: Italy (Monza)

September 26: Russia (Sochi)

October 3: Singapore

October 10: Japan (Suzuka)

October 24: United States (Austin)

October 31: Mexico (Mexico City)

November 7: Brazil (Sao Paulo)

November 21: Australia (Melbourne)

December 5: Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)

December 12: Abu Dhabi

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