On Friday, it was announced that the Singapore Grand Prix, which was scheduled to take place on 3 October, has been cancelled. The decision was taken by the Singaporean authorities due to travel restrictions they imposed on foreign nationals amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
While this is bad news, it could be just the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger problem. According to international press reports, Formula 1 bosses are reportedly working desperately to prevent their 23-race programme from falling apart, just as it did last year.
Races in countries such as Brazil, Japan, Mexico and Australia are at serious risk of not taking place for a number of reasons that share a common origin: the pandemic.
To give an example, strict quarantine rules in Australia could prevent drivers from participating in the Australian Grand Prix after racing in the preceding Brazilian Grand Prix.
In the worst-case scenario, more than a fifth of the scheduled races could be cancelled, which would be a major blow to the 2021 season.
F1 are preparing for possible contingencies and possible solutions include possible rounds in China, Turkey and even a second race in Austin, Texas.
An F1 spokesperson sent an optimistic message, saying they are working with “all promoters” and have “plenty of options to adapt if needed”.