Sad Day: F1 Drivers React To Japanese Grand Prix Cancellation
So far, the 2021 Formula 1 season has gone smoother than last year's, which was drastically shaken up due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the world still isn't out of the storm yet. On Wednesday, F1 announced that the Japanese Grand Prix had been canceled by the government due to COVID-19 precautions. The race was scheduled to be held the weekend of October 8th through 10th. Organizers promised that they are working on adjusting the calendar with the news 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," officials said in a statement.
Several drivers expressed disappointment that the race at Suzuka Circuit had been called off for the second year in a row. Hungarian Grand Prix winner Esteban Ocon, Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi and Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda all commented on the official F1 post with emojis and messages of sadness.
Tsunoda also posted to his Instagram story with a sushi emoji and crying faces to further express his grief at not being able to race in his home country for the first time.
Pierre Gasly had a simple message on his Instagram story, stating that the cancellation was "SAD NEWS."
Lando Norris was understanding amid the heartbreak and sent a message of appreciation to the Japanese fans and wishes for their well-being. He even put in a few Japanese characters to express his love.
Carlos Sainz posted a message to his Instagram story in Spanish and English. saying the race is one of his "favorite circuits of the season" and that he will miss the "incredible fans" "a lot."
Tokyo just completed the 2020 Summer Olympics after delaying the games a year due to the pandemic. Even then, the events were held without fans and the athletes were held to strict protocol to prevent spread of the illness.
In July, the Australian Grand Prix, which typically opens the season, was called off from its rescheduled time in November. The Singapore and Canadian Grand Prix races have also been canceled due to precautions in the pandemic. The Chinese Grand Prix has been postponed indefinitely.
F1 has been actively adjusting the schedule, including bringing back Imola to replace the race in China. Prior to the Japanese Grand Prix being canceled, organizers were already looking for a track to fill an open October weekend. Many believe the race will be in the United States.
The teams are currently on summer break and will resume racing at the Belgian Grand Prix starting August 27th.
See the Instagram stories of drivers expressing disappointment in the Japanese Grand Prix being canceled below: